"NOT UNDERQUALIFIED, JUST OVERLOOKED: A COMMITMENT TO SERVING UNDERREPRESENTED FOUNDERS.- DARREL FRATER, INVESTMENT ASSOCIATE, VISIBLE HANDS
The record startup fundraising and investment climate of 2021 has slowed considerably as public market valuations for late-stage tech companies have declined drastically, and concerns around rising interest rates have added to VCs’ hesitation for making new investments.
Black entrepreneurs, in particular, have been hit hard by this pullback from investors. New data shows Black-founded startups in the U.S. had only raised $324 million by mid-June, 2022. This is a massive reduction compared to the $850 million – $1.2 billion range per quarter seen across the prior five quarters, according to Crunchbase.
As a minority founder and investor myself, it’s disheartening to see the continued disparity in investment opportunities for underrepresented founders. We are often left in the dark when it comes to the “game” of fundraising. In order to successfully fundraise as a minority founder, it’s important to leverage tools and information that drive transparency into the fundraising process. Transparency enables minority founders to understand the nature of what they’re up against, find networks dedicated to overcoming these challenges, and ultimately reach their fundraising goals.
This is what anchors my work in developing opportunities for underrepresented founders as an investor through Visible Hands. Visible Hands is a venture capital firm with an accelerator designed to highlight and invest in the untapped potential of overlooked founders. In late 2020, our team set out to raise $10M for our first fund. As of June 2022, we’ve successfully exceeded that goal, closing $10.5M to invest in women and founders of color with the support of amazing Limited Partners such as Atento Capital of the George Kaiser Family Foundation, Bank of America, Equity Alliance, Brown Advisory and many others! You can learn more about Visible Hands and how we support underrepresented founders on our website at https://VisibleHands.vc
Visible Hands is a venture capital firm with a 14-week, virtual-first accelerator on a mission to highlight and invest in the limitless potential of overlooked founders. At the earliest stages of company-building, we provide meaningful funding (Up to $175K), personalized support, and social capital to help our founders build exceptional technology startups.
Darrel is an Investment Associate at Visible Hands VC where he assists in managing a portfolio of 90+ companies. Prior to Visible Hands, Darrel was a Venture Fellow at Score 3 Ventures where he helped underrepresented founders raise over $1M in startup capital and mentored over 60 founders since joining in 2019. Darrel is a 3-time founder with his latest company being a live streaming platform for networking called TheClub which he founded in 2020. He is an MBA graduate from The College of New Jersey where he studied strategy, innovation, and leadership.