Following news of a strong round of funding, Hollywood-based MaC Venture Capital said on July 8 that a significant portion of that money would end up in the hands of Los Angeles startups.
The majority Black-owned seed-stage venture capital firm kicked off July by celebrating news of a $203 million funding round.
The company said in a statement that it would use capital from its Fund II to double down on its “cultural investment framework,” with a focus on supporting technology startups that are shaping culture and increasing access and resources to underserved communities.
Many of the companies MaC is looking to fund call Los Angeles their home, according to Marlon C. Nichols, a founding general partner of MaC.
“Los Angeles is great because we’re a tech-first fund. We’ve invested in everything from engineering tampons to reusable rockets, and we’ve already made a number of notable investments in promising L.A. companies,” said Nichols.
About 50% of the firm’s investments are in California, Nichols told the Business Journal, and about half of those are in Los Angeles County.
As of the launch of the seed-stage fund, MaC Venture has added new partners Haley Farnsworth and Zhenni Liu and invested in 50 companies, including Edge Delta, Stoke Space Technologies, Wonder Dynamics, Epsilon3 and Spartan Radar.
“While new investors are integral to helping our firm achieve our vision of increasing access to resources and opportunities, it’s promising to see investors from our first fund return,” said King in a statement.
Previous company investments in the area include funding for the fintech trading platform Pipe Technologies Inc., which at the time of the company’s investment, around September 2019, was headquartered in Los Angeles and valued at $13 million.
Near the market’s peak a year-and-a-half later, Nichols said the company was valued at around $2 billion.
Nichols was one of four founding general partners to create MaC in 2019, alongside former Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, former William Morris Agency talent agent and advisor Michael Palank, and former William Morris Endeavor partner and agent Charles D. King. Nichols said the firm was founded with an emphasis on diversity, both within the organization and in terms of investments made.
The $203 million Fund II is nearly double the $110 million raised in its first funding round back in March 2021. Nichols noted that with the money in that first round, 69% of MaC’s investments went to portfolio companies with BIPOC founders. Companies with women founders accounted for 36% of the firm’s first-round investments.
“Nearly doubling our seed-stage funding is incredibly validating and showcases how investors believe in our vision and see the hard work our team and portfolio companies are putting in every day,” Fenty said in a statement. “We’re supporting the next generation of companies (…) who are bridging gaps in access and opportunities, and our investors are trusting in our cultural investment framework which guides our investment strategies.”
Fund II investors include repeat and new institutional investors including Fairview Capital, George Kaiser Family Foundation, and Goldman Sachs.