Synchrony commits $ 15 million to WOC-focused venture capital funds
Synchrony announced its $ 15 million commitment to venture capital funds prioritizing supporting women of color.
Synchrony, a leading consumer financial services company, announced today that it will commit $ 15 million to venture capital funds led by Black, Latinx and female investment partners. The first funds selected to receive money include Chingona Ventures, Seae Ventures, and Zeal Capital Partners – they support start-ups in the fintech, health and future of work sectors. Additional funds may be included at a later date. This decision builds on Synchrony’s commitment to supporting minorities and women entrepreneurs and under-represented communities, while advancing Synchrony Ventures’ direct investment strategy to accelerate growth and innovation for Synchrony, its partners and consumers.
“For too long, black, Latin and female founders have been under-represented in venture capital funding,” said Trish Mosconi, EVP, director of strategy and business development at Synchrony. “Together, we must take collective action to help close the venture capital funding gap and provide equal access to capital for diverse entrepreneurs and underserved communities.”
According to Crunchbase, only three percent of investment funds are received by founders, a statistic that has not changed for a decade. Since 2015, more than $ 15 billion has been raised by the founders of Black and Latinx in the United States, representing 2.4% of the total American venture capital raised during that time, according to another Crunchbase. study. Meanwhile, a study from Deloitte shows that 65% of investment firms reported having no female partners and 93% of firms reported having no black partners in 2020.
The Synchrony ventures team, now led by Jeff Lamour, focuses on budding founders who drive innovation in markets and sectors in line with the growth strategy, mission and values of the company. Lamour will continue to develop this strategy and promote fairness in the investment community. Synchrony will work with the funds to further support the growth and success of their portfolio, including investing additional growth capital in minority entrepreneurs focused on disrupting fintech, commerce and healthcare.
The first three funds have investment strategies that align with Synchrony’s business priorities and its commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion. Synchrony’s $ 15 million commitment will also include additional venture capital funds to be selected later this year.
Chingona Ventures, which was founded by Samara Mejia Hernandez, focuses on technology around financial services, women and food, as well as health and wellness, the future of learning and the future work. Chingona Ventures is based in Chicago.
“With Chingona Ventures, I am committed to finding entrepreneurs who may not match the ‘pattern recognition’ inherent in the venture capital industry. Synchrony’s support is vital to helping neglected technology founders realize their unique vision, ”said Samara Mejia Hernandez.
Seae Ventures, a fund focused on health, was founded in 2019 by three partners – Tuoyo Louis, Jason Robart and Peter Sally – with the aim of better balancing the needs of patients, providers and payers by investing in various entrepreneurs with high growth potential. The founders saw the need for new thinking in health care to address the diversity of the population.
“While there have been significant advances in health care over the past decades, there has unfortunately been a growing gap in health disparities among traditionally underserved and underrepresented populations,” said said Jason Robart, co-founder and managing partner of Seae. “We are determined to do something about this and are delighted to partner with Synchrony to fund the women and entrepreneurs of BIPOC who are committed to improving health outcomes for all.
Zeal Capital Partners, Based in Washington, DC, was founded by Nasir Qadree who believes that more diverse businesses need more inclusive sources of funding. He even tabled the term “inclusive investing” to indicate that these companies incorporate diversity into every investment decision they make.
“We fundamentally believe that while there are many diverse talents with innovative solutions to social disparities, there are not enough opportunities to leverage those talents to achieve scalable impact,” said Qadree, Founder and managing partner of Zeal Capital Partners. “By investing in dynamic and often overlooked founders, our vision is to help founders solve some of society’s biggest challenges, such as closing the skills gap and lowering barriers to wealth for the marginalized. We look forward to working with Synchrony to help develop high growth start-ups that will generate outsized returns while having an impact. “
This announcement is part of a larger Synchrony effort to Support small minority-owned businesses. The Synchrony Foundation has engaged $ 5 million to support the funding of small business grants through community organizations, including the Local initiatives support company (LISC) to provide emergency grants to minority and women owned businesses. In 2020, the company also signed the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) Human Capital Pledge to advance a more diverse and inclusive venture capital ecosystem. And as a member of the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council, the company identifies and utilizes diverse suppliers whenever possible.
Synchrony (NYSE: SYF) is a leading consumer financial services company. We offer a wide range of specialized financing programs, as well as innovative consumer banking products, in key industries such as digital, retail, home, automotive, travel, health and animals. of company. Synchrony allows our partners to increase their sales and retain consumers. We are one of the largest private label credit card issuers in the United States; we also offer co-branded products, installment loans and consumer finance products for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as healthcare providers. Synchronization is changing what’s possible through our digital capabilities, deep industry expertise, actionable data, seamless customer experience, and personalized financing solutions.
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