Latino founders of early-stage US based companies just got a new potential source of capital.
L’Attitude Ventures announced today that it has closed its first institutional fund, raising more than $100 million from several financial services heavyweights, including a “strategic anchor investment” from JPMorgan Chase.
The San Diego, California-based company plans to invest exclusively in Latina(o)-owned seed for “high growth potential” Series A companies.
L’Attitude’s decision to support only Latina(o)-owned companies in the US, not those headquartered in Latin America, stems from the fact that US-based Latinos make up 50% of all new , create employer-based companies and have $2.7 trillion in economic power, according to partner Laura Moreno Lucas.
“…And yet they are the most undercapitalised, with less than 2% of early stage VC and 1% late stage,” she added, referring to the Bain Capital Research Report 2021. “So we think the opportunity is right here at home in the US, which we call the new mainstream economy.”
In particular, the company’s partners come from different – and impressive – backgrounds:
- Managing partner, co-founder and CEO Sol Trujillo is the former CEO of Telstra, Orange SA and US West. He is also president of L’Attitude LP Trujillo Group, the Latino Donor Collaborative and is a past board member of Bank of America, Pepsi and Target.
- Managing Partner, Co-Founder and President Gary Acosta is the co-founder and CEO of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, as well as the founder of several mortgage, real estate, and technology companies.
- Managing Partner, Co-Founder and CIO Kennie Blanco is a former portfolio manager at BlackRock and former president of Bay Area Latinos in Finance.
- Partner Oscar Munoz is the former chairman and CEO of United Airlines, and currently serves on the board of directors of CBRE Group Inc. and Univision Holdings Inc., as well as an independent trustee of Fidelity’s Equity & High-Income Funds Board.
- Lucas is founder and CEO of Pandocap, a strategic consulting and media services company and advisor to 500 Startups. Lucas previously served as a managing director at Nasdaq, where she led the IPOs of Beyond Meat, Lyft, The RealReal, Airbnb, and other high-profile listings. She also founded and left Ladada, a fashion subscription startup.
Both Munoz and Lucas joined the company in early 2022.
In a prepared statement, Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, said: “Latin-led companies are critical to the US economy, but often lack access to capital and resources for growth… Our investment in L’Attitude Ventures builds on our wider commitment to serving American Latino entrepreneurs and small businesses across the country.”
Bank of America and Trujillo Group, a private equity firm focused on real estate investment, were also early “key” investors, the fund said. Other LPs include UC Investments and MassMutual, Barclays, the Royal Bank of Canada, Polaris Limited Partners (Oscar Munoz), Cisco and Nuveen Investments.
L’Attitude’s raised its (drasically smaller) first fund in 2019, closing with $5 million in a capital increase led by Munoz and Salesforce co-founder, chairman and CEO Marc Benioff. The company launched Fund II in 2021 and closed in just over a year, Lucas said.
L’Attitude has already supported several companies, including Listo, Flow Founders and Camino Financial. It plans to invest in another 20 companies, rounding out the portfolio to between 40 and 50 startups. The average size of checks ranges from $750,000 to $1.5 million.
Most of the company’s significant investments are fintech companies, but Lucas says the company is industry agnostic.
“We see that those big fintech LPs can serve as a launch pad to power and catalyze our portfolio,” she told MovieUpdates.
In general, L’Attitude’s partners believe that the financial institutions that support the fund have more than altruistic motives. They also see opportunities.
“This fund… represents an opening salvo for what should be an investment boom aimed at this sector of early stage companies that are either founded or run by Latina(o) entrepreneurs and have significant potential,” Trujillo said in a prepared statement. . “Latina(o)-owned companies have a built-in relationship with an emerging generation of young American Latino consumers; investing in their early growth promises a strong return on investment for the next 30-40 years at the very least.”
Munoz agrees, calling the emerging generation of Latino Americans “the biggest market since the baby boom generation, with GDP outputs greater than the entire economies of most developed countries.”
“There has never been a better time to take advantage of and contribute to the rapid growth of Latina(o)-owned companies,” he said.
L’Attitude holds a conference each September focused on creating a forum for founders to compete for up to $20 million in capital that L’Attitude Ventures will invest over the cycle. The fund says the competition is also a platform for startups to pitch other vetted potential investors.
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