By Stephone Coward
- Black Thought will be a General Partner with Impellent Ventures, a $10.5M fund aiming to raise $50M
- Funding of Black entrepreneurs in the U.S. hit nearly $1.8B through the first half of 2021
You can now add Tariq Trotter, more notably known as Black Thought, the lead MC of The Roots, to the growing list of influential people entering the venture capital space. He joins other notable musicians such as Nas, QueensBridge Ventures Partners, Jay Z, Marcy Ventures Partners and professional athletes such as Kevin Durant and Serena Williams, who are now using their financial and cultural capital to provide funding for Black entrepreneurs. He is now a General Partner with Impellent Ventures, a $10.5 million fund aiming to raise $50 million.
Why This Matters: Black founders receive significantly less funding than white counterparts. In 2020, Harvard Business Review noted that Black founders receive less than 1% of the venture-capital funding due to unconscious bias and a lack of understanding of these founders’ needs and solutions. However, there is new interest in assuring that Black entrepreneurs receive funding, as they received nearly $1.8 billion through the first half of 2021.
In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, people in this country can no longer deny that racial justice is essential and economic justice needs to be a priority. This was further emphasized by the pandemic where we saw new and untraditional solutions being created to keep the economy moving to avoid collapse. During this time venture capitalists were compelled by public pressure or financial opportunity to invest in Black and brown people.
Situational Awareness: More Black investors are either being elevated to partner levels or starting their own funds to increase the flow of capital to underfunded Black innovators. With Black Thought becoming a venture capitalist, we can see a fire has been lit in Silicon Valley. Trotter hopes to make the venture capital sector less intimidating for other musical artists, along with people from marginalized and underrepresented communities.
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