PayPal Invests in Local Black, Latino VCs

PayPal Invests in Local Black, Latino VCs
VamosVentures Founder Marcos Gonzalez

Payments giant PayPal Holdings Inc. has invested $50 million across eight Black and Latino-led venture capital funds, including two in Los Angeles. 

Downtown-based VamosVentures and Slauson and Co., another L.A.-based firm, will receive $10 million in total funding, according to a PayPal spokesperson.
PayPal said it will collaborate with the eight funds on an ongoing basis, sometimes directly co-investing in businesses with them through its venture arm, PayPal Ventures. 

The fintech pioneer’s VC arm invests in companies with complementary functions to its parent including payments infrastructure, financial services and relevant data and security services.  
“Black and Latinx founders have been underrepresented in venture capital funding for far too long,” said PayPal President and Chief Executive Dan Schulman in a statement. “By directing our dollars to investors from underrepresented communities, we’re supporting their investment in Black and Latinx entrepreneurs at the earliest stages. We're honored to support this outstanding group of venture capitalists as we seek to bring more equity to the fundraising process.”
VamosVentures, the more established of the L.A. firms, was founded by Marcos Gonzalez in 2018. The fund has made six investments to date, mostly in technology platforms led by Latino founders.
Several of VamosVentures’ portfolio companies field services which directly benefit minority and disadvantaged communities. These include Food for All Technologies Inc., which helps people locate healthy food at a discount while minimizing restaurant food waste, and Paladin PBC Inc., a platform that helps manage pro-bono legal services.
Slauson and Co. was founded this year by Austin Clements, a former principal at downtown-based seed fund TenOneTen Ventures, and Ajay Relan, a former general partner at Century City-based Queensbridge Venture Partners. 

The founders say the firm aims to promote economic inclusion by providing capital, mentorship and operational resources to people of color, women and LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs.
Relan said Slauson is currently fully remote but plans to lease office space in South Los Angeles once the Covid pandemic is over. The firm started investing this month, according to Relan, backing innovative Black-led businesses such as Westchester-based small business tax platform ComplYant App Inc.

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