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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!
Over the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to speak at the T3 Conference in Florida…I surprised the audience when I explained how the issue of diversity has been framed incorrectly, and has for the most part alienated the business community.
Elon Musk dropped by the Real Time with Bill Maher show recently for an interview with the host. Maher, who considers himself a liberal is an obvious fan of the CEO of Tesla and Space X. The centerpiece of their conversation was their discussion regarding what Musk called the “woke mind virus” or what I prefer to call “cancel culture”.
People sometimes get me wrong. They think that because I talk a lot about giving back and living modestly, I must not care about money. On the contrary, I care a lot about money because I understand how our system works.