Valence Announces Funding Network to Connect Black Founders

Ben Bergman

Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior finance reporter. Previously he was a senior business reporter and host at KPCC, a senior producer at Gimlet Media, a producer at NPR's Morning Edition, and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to business coverage on NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times and Columbia Journalism Review. Ben was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.

Valence Announces Funding Network to Connect Black Founders

Valence, a tech platform and professional network launched last year that connects Black founders, announced its inaugural funding network Thursday. The list includes investors at top firms including Sequoia Capital, Accel and Upfront Ventures.

"For years, Black entrepreneurs have been told that Silicon Valley is a meritocracy, but at the same time most haven't had access to the top networks, the warm introductions, and the mentorship that underpin lasting success in tech. Valence is upending this completely by bringing the top VCs to compete for the best Black entrepreneurs." said Valence co-founder and general partner at Upfront Ventures, Kobie Fuller. "We want to even the playing field with the goal of exponentially growing the number of Black-owned startups that get funded."


Only 4% of VC employees are black, according to a 2018 survey by the National Venture Capital Association, an industry trade group. Just 10% of VC-backed companies in Los Angeles are run by a person of color or a woman, according to PledgeLA.

However, the true numbers are likely much lower because those survey – like all others examining diversity — are self-reported.

Valence also announced that is has appointed tech and entertainment veteran Guy Primus as chief executive officer.

"Facilitating success in the innovation economy is key to Valence's mission. By creating the Valence Funding Network, we are eliminating one of the most formidable structural obstacles to success—the access to venture investors." said Primus.

Here are the inaugural funding members:

  • 645 Ventures
  • Nnamdi Okike
  • Accel
  • Rich Wong
  • Base10
  • Ade Ajao
  • Bessemer
  • Elliott Robinson
  • Capital G
  • Gene Frantz
  • Collab Capital
  • Jewel Burks
  • Concrete Rose
  • Sean Mendy
  • Defy Partners
  • Nabeel Hyatt
  • Techsquare Labs
  • Upfront
  • Neil Sequiera
  • Equal Ventures
  • Richard Kerby
  • First Round
  • Josh Kopelman
  • Forerunner
  • Brian O'Malley
  • Foundry
  • Brad Feld
  • General Catalyst
  • Peter Boyce
  • GGV
  • Hans Tung
  • Greylock
  • Sarah Guo
  • Jordan Fudge
  • Spark Capital
  • Rebecca Kaden
  • High Alpha
  • Scott Dorsey
  • Lightspeed
  • Mercedes Bent
  • Lux
  • Deena Shakir
  • Outlander
  • Paige Craig
  • Precursor
  • Charles Hudson
  • Redpoint
  • Annie Kadavy
  • Sequoia
  • Jess Lee
  • Sinai Ventures
  • Paul Judge
  • Union Square
  • Kobie Fuller


https://twitter.com/thebenbergman
ben@dot.la

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence
CoMotion LA ‘22: The Future of Transportation
Photo courtesy of CoMotion

dot.LA is proud to announce our partnership with CoMotion for their 6th edition of CoMotion LA, one of the most important events on the future of transportation. CoMotion LA ‘22 will be held November 15-17 at the Japanese American National Museum for three days jam-packed with talks, pitches, demos and workshops.

Read moreShow less

This Week in ‘Raises’: Xeal Energy Secures $40M, Lipidio Pharmaceuticals Lands $20M

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

This Week in ‘Raises’: Xeal Energy Secures $40M, Lipidio Pharmaceuticals Lands $20M
Modified by Joshua Letona

It has been a slow week in funding news in Los Angeles, but Xeal Energy managed to raise fresh funding to continue expanding its charging network, while Lipidio Pharmaceuticals will allocate its new funding to provide a runway for its three clinical trials.

***

Read moreShow less

LA Tech ‘Moves’: Netflix Taps Vanity Fair Exec

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech ‘Moves’: Netflix Taps Vanity Fair Exec
LA Tech ‘Moves’:

“Moves,” our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis (sharmineh@dot.la). Please send job changes and personnel moves to moves@dot.la.

***

Read moreShow less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending