Marcos Gonzalez, founder and managing partner, VamosVentures.

Marcos Gonzalez, founder and managing partner, VamosVentures.

VamosVentures, a downtown-based seed-stage venture fund, has raised $50 million to address the gap in access to growth capital for minority-led businesses.

The fund, called VamosVentures Fund I, focuses on early stage investments in technology-enabled companies led by Latino and other diverse founders with compelling products and solutions. The fund was oversubscribed by more than double its target.


“We are addressing a gap in venture capital markets that has been created by a number of forces, including perceived risk in entrepreneurs who deviate from the norm, unfamiliarity with emerging market needs and propensity to manage risk by sticking to one’s network,” said Marcos Gonzalez, founder and managing partner of VamosVentures.


Gonzalez, who founded the firm in 2018, is in discussions with other investors for a second fund.


Among the first fund’s priorities are health and wellness, future of work, consumer packaged goods, and financial technology. Initial check sizes will range from $250,000 to more than $1 million.


Some of the fund’s partners include Apple Inc.; Bank of America Corp.; Ford Foundation; and TPG, a Fort Worth, Texas-based based global alternative asset firm that invested in VamosVentures as part of its TPG NEXT initiative announced in March.


TPG NEXT, which is designed to back the next generation of diverse asset managers, made a minority investment in VamosVentures as well as Landspire Group,  a local Black-owned real estate firm. Landspire, which is focused on investment and development in secondary markets across the United States, expects to launch in the first half of 2022.


Raul Anaya, president of business banking for greater Los Angeles at Bank of America, said Bank of America’s equity investment in VamosVentures underscores “our ongoing efforts to address the persistent gap in access to growth capital for minority-led businesses.”


Bank of America invested in Vamos-Ventures earlier this year as part of an initiative to provide $150 million to 40 funds in 21 markets across the United States.

 
These investments underscore Bank of America’s ongoing efforts to increase access to growth capital for minority-led businesses. Chase Bank, Wells Fargo & Co. and other big banks have made similar investments lately.

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