Click on the red play button to listen to the audio version.
Last week, L’ATTITUDE Ventures closed its first institutional fund, raising over $100 million through a strategic anchor investment by JP Morgan Chase and initial investments from the Trujillo Group and Bank of America. Other key investors in this fund, which is aimed solely at investing in Latina(o)-owned companies with high growth potential, include UC Investments, MassMutual, Barclays, the Royal Bank of Canada, Polaris Limited Partners (Oscar Munoz), Cisco, Nuveen Investments, and Morgan Stanley. The money will be used to invest in Latino-founded early-stage start-ups. This is the largest fund of its kind in U.S. history.
L’ATTITUDE Ventures was spawned by the L’ATTITUDE event platform which will hold its annual event in San Diego on September 22-25. Sol Trujillo and I decided to launch the fund in response to the astonishingly low amount of venture capital that has historically been available to Latino founders. The latest research shows that Latinos attracted less than 2% of the investment capital in 2020 despite the fact that Latinos represent 18% of the overall population and 23% of the millennial population in America.
So, what does L’ATTITUDE Ventures fund mean to Latino entrepreneurs? First, I think it means that it took someone with Sol Trujillo’s unicorn business background to break the critical $100M milestone, but secondly, I think it means that investors may be waking up to the undeniable growth prospects in the Latino market. Latinos have always been prolific at starting businesses. In fact, Latino households are almost twice as likely as the general population to own a small business, but very few of those businesses have achieved any real scale. Access to investment capital is clearly one of the growth barriers that has prevented Latinos from building large businesses. L’ATTITUDE Ventures not only expects to fund and catalyze a few dozen Latino companies, but it also hopes that it can bring more visibility to Latino companies and attract more capital to other like-minded funds.
L’ATTITUDE Ventures is the first of a handful of key initiatives that NAHREP plans on leveraging to bring more capital to proptech and fintech firms and more wealth-building opportunities to its members. NAHREP is also planning on launching an angel investor network and an accelerator program for companies that align with NAHREP’s mission to advance sustainable Hispanic homeownership and build wealth for Latino real estate professionals. A big shout out to my friends and partners at L’ATTITUDE Ventures, Sol Trujillo, Oscar Munoz, Kennie Blanco, and Laura Lucas, to Emilio Estefan of the L’ATTITUDE event platform, and the NAHREP staff and national board for their vision and support. Together, we are making history…and we are just getting started!
Almost everyone, including Democrats, were expecting last Tuesday’s midterm election results to heavily favor Republicans. Many predicted a “red wave” where they would pick up 50-60 seats in the House and 3-4 in the Senate. Joe Rogan said the red wave that is coming will be like the elevator doors opening in the horror film The Shining.
Selling during a downturn required a more strategic approach, but the opportunities for growth and expansion are available to the savviest of companies. Here are some of the best ideas I’ve read about.
A farmer and his son had a beloved stallion who helped the family earn a living. One day, the horse ran away and their neighbors said “Your horse ran away, what terrible luck!”. The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.” A few days later the horse returned home, leading a few wild mares back to the farm as well. The neighbors shouted out “Your horse has returned and brought several horses home with him. What great luck!” and the farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”
I’ve written about this in other iterations. I’ve talked about finding your rhythm, and the importance of letting things come to you, not forcing things, and then riding the momentum when you have the wind at your back. The point of it all is that success is not linear. Progress doesn’t follow a straight line. For most people, the journey is long and winding. It looks more like a stairway or a hockey stick.