L’Attitude Ventures closes on $100M fund to back Latino founders of early-stage startups – TechCrunch

Early stage Latino founders US-based companies have just received a new potential source of capital.

L’Attitude Ventures announced today that it has closed its first institutional fund and raised more than $100 million from several financial services heavyweights, including a “strategic anchor investment” from JPMorgan Chase.

Based in San Diego, California, the company intends to invest exclusively in Latina(o)-owned seeds for Series A companies with “high growth potential.”

L’Attitude’s decision to support only Latina-owned companies based in the US, rather than those headquartered in Latin America, is based on the fact that US-based Latinos form 50% of all new employer-based companies and have an economic power of 2.7 trillion US dollars, according to partner Laura Moreno Lucas.

“…And yet they are the most undercapitalized with less than 2% early-stage VC and 1% late-stage VC,” she added, citing the Bain Capital Study Report 2021. “So we think the opportunity is right here at home in what we call the New Mainstream Economy.”

Remarkably, the firm’s partners come from diverse – and impressive – backgrounds:

  • Managing Partner, Co-Founder and CEO Sol Trujillo is the former CEO of Telstra, Orange SA and US West. He also serves as Chairman of L’Attitude LP Trujillo Group, the Latino Donor Collaborative, and is a former Board Member of Bank of America, Pepsi, and Target.
  • Managing Partner, Co-Founder and President Gary Acosta is co-founder and CEO of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals and founder of several mortgage, real estate and technology companies.
  • Managing Partner, Co-Founder and CIO Kennie Blanco is a former portfolio manager at BlackRock and past President of Bay Area Latinos in Finance.
  • Partner Oscar Munoz is the former cHairman and CEO of United Airlines and currently serves on the boards of directors of CBRE Group Inc. and Univision Holdings Inc. and serves as an independent trustee on Fidelity’s Equity & High-Income Funds Board.
  • Lucas is the founder and CEO of Pandocap, a strategic consulting and media services company and advisor to 500 startups. Previously, Lucas was a Managing Director at Nasdaq, where she led the IPOs of Beyond Meat, Lyft, The RealReal, Airbnb and other high-profile listings. She also founded and left Ladada, a fashion subscription startup.

Both Munoz and Lucas joined the company in early 2022.

In a prepared statement, Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, said, “Latin American-led companies are vital to the US economy, but often lack access to capital and resources for growth… Our investment in L’Attitude Ventures is building on our broader commitment to support American Latino entrepreneurs and small businesses across the country.”

Bank of America and Trujillo Group, a private equity firm focused on real estate investments, were also early “key investors,” according to the fund. Other LPs include UC Investments and MassMutual, Barclays, the Royal Bank of Canada, Polaris Limited Partners (Oscar Munoz), Cisco and Nuveen Investments.

L’Attitude’s raised its (drastically smaller) first fund in 2019 and closed with a $5 million capital raise led by Munoz and Salesforce co-founder, chairman and CEO Marc Benioff. The firm launched Fund II in 2021 and closed in just over a year, Lucas said.

L’Attitude has backed several companies including Listo, Flow Founders and Camino Financial. It is planned to invest in another 20 companies and to round out the portfolio with 40 to 50 startups. The average check size is between $750,000 and $1.5 million.

Most of the company’s significant investments are in fintech, but Lucas says the company is industry agnostic.

“We see that these big fintech LPs can serve as a launch pad to propel and catalyze our portfolio,” she told TechCrunch.

In general, L’Attitude’s partners believe that the financial institutions backing the fund have more than altruistic motives. You also see opportunities.

“This fund … represents an opening salvo in an investment boom aimed at this sector of early-stage companies, either founded or led by Latina(o) entrepreneurs, that have significant potential,” Trujillo said in a prepared statement . “Latina(o)-owned businesses enjoy an integrated relationship with a rising generation of young US Latino consumers; Investing in their early growth promises strong returns for at least the next 30-40 years.”

Munoz agrees, calling the emerging generation of Latino Americans “the largest single market since the baby boomer generation, with a GDP yield greater than the entire economy of most developed countries.”

“There has never been a better time to take advantage of and contribute to the rapid growth of Latina(o)-owned businesses,” he said.

L’Attitude holds a conference A forum for founders will be created each September to compete for up to $20 million in capital that L’Attitude Ventures will invest during the cycle. The fund says the competition is also a platform for startups to showcase other vetted potential investors.

My weekly fintech newsletter, The Interchange, launched May 1st! Register here to get it in your inbox. L’Attitude Ventures closes on $100M fund to back Latino founders of early-stage startups – TechCrunch

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