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Exclusive: Bank of America anchors new Human Ventures fund

Lucinda Shen
Sep 20, 2022
Illustration of two hands shaking with money shapes and textures surrounding them
Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

Human Ventures, the venture capital firm and studio that backed Current, named Bank of America as the anchor investor in its second fund, the firm tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: This is one of Bank of America's largest investments yet in a single fund supporting underrepresented founders.

Driving the news: The company is in the process of raising roughly $50 million, according to an SEC filing, though sources with knowledge of the matter tell Axios that the firm may seek to raise $100 million.

Details: Should the fund eventually raise $100 million, that would double the amount of Human Ventures' first fund.

  • Like the last fund, this one will focus on pre-seed and seed stage companies, with Human Ventures also taking some board seats (Fund II has already begun deploying capital, leading a $7 million seed round in Adelaide, an adtech business).
  • Though it has invested in fintechs, Human Ventures is not focused solely on the sector, having made bets across health care, the future of work, and on the attention economy.
  • Similarly, while CEO Heather Hartnett says about 50% of its portfolio's founders are women, that is not a mandate.
  • "By nature of the opportunities we are seeing in women's health care, child care, reskilling and upskilling — it happens to attract more female founders," Hartnett says. "These are areas that are completely underinvested in."

Of note: Human Ventures co-founder Joe Marchese — former president of ad revenue at Fox — is coming back as a GP in this fund.

The Bottom line: Yes, corporate pledges are no doubt in part about branding. But, at a time when some are wondering whether rocky markets could boot diversity and inclusion to the back of venture capital's list of priorities, multi-year corporate pledges will at the very least be one known source of capital.

  • Bank of America managing director Omar Eissa says he doesn't yet see a turn away from underrepresented founders.
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