1863 Ventures solves lack of capital for black and brown entrepreneurs by investing in 13 portfolio companies


1863 Inaugural Fund Announcement

WASHINGTON, July 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Fund of 1863 is 1863 Ventures’ multi-sector investment strategy for New Majority entrepreneurs (i.e. business owners who have been historically marginalized).

1863 Ventures is a business development program that accelerates New Majority entrepreneurs (i.e. people who have been historically marginalized) from high potential to high growth.

1863 Ventures solves lack of capital for black and brown entrepreneurs by investing in 13 portfolio companies

Established in 2020, the 1863 Fund provides capital to 13 Black, Brown and women-owned businesses, with more than $2 million in non-predatory financing to accelerate the transition of entrepreneurs from high potential to high growth and to reduce barriers for these founders across the country.

“Our thesis is that entrepreneurship is becoming an increasingly viable path for the new majority to create wealth; however, this is not without historical headwinds,” says Melissa Bradley, founder and managing partner of 1863 Ventures. “It costs at least a quarter of a million dollars more for a black founder to create the exact same company as his white peers. Based on structural racism and generations of economic deprivation – with all the challenges that marginalized people continue to endure – it’s unrealistic to expect a New Majority company to have the same trajectory and growth as its white counterparts.”

To this end, the 1863 Fund is dedicated to improving the state of innovation and entrepreneurship for New Majority founders and ecosystem builders by stimulating member companies through equity investments or alternative revenue-based financing models. Nationally, the fund invests strategic capital across all sectors, including fintech, software, hair and beauty products, healthcare, and baked goods. The challenges of the coronavirus will persist. It is crucial for portfolio companies to remain agile and adapt to changing markets. In a volatile business environment, the 1863 Fund provided much-needed cash flow to increase the survivability of portfolio companies and maintain profitability.

“The 1863 investment kept me afloat in these tumultuous times,” says Ashley Marie RouseFounder of culinary and vegan inspired cuisine Commerce Street Jam Cowhich is expected to produce 4,600 gallons of jam this year and reach $1 million In income. “We have a product-based business, and we can’t make money without a product! Investment dollars allow us to get raw materials that are now at a higher cost, which we wouldn’t be able to afford. able to buy traditionally.”

The founders of the portfolio companies also leveraged the network and guidance of an experienced team at 1863 Ventures. Jean Brown Hill reinvents home improvement contracts with Sweeten and recently found new investors, thanks to by Melissa Bradley cultivated institutional relations.

In the 1863 Fund investment review, portfolio companies are accelerating their operations with increased product inventory, additional seed funding from other investors, administrative and infrastructural improvements, an expanded workforce and larger advertising budgets:

  • Lillii RNB inc.a retail fraud detection, prevention and data services company, closed its doors $3 million in seed funding.

  • Tech Startup and Career Development Program, The mentor methodraised $1.6 million in venture capital funding, integrated clients like Amazon and the Department of Education, doubled their revenue in one year and grew their team from two staff members to 11 in seven months.

  • Vegan bakery keep you sweet hired four additional employees and increased their sales by 129%, customer return rate up 75% and e-commerce store conversion up 171%.

  • love of humiditya manufacturer of natural hair care products, increased their website conversion rate by 16% and reduced their customer acquisition costs by 74%.

  • Naasakle International produces business lines including Shea Eu’Geniaa brand of 100% natural shea butter and skincare, and announced a new partnership with QVC, increased its number of doors with Target and confirmed its launch with another major retailer in the drug market.

  • brown toy box is a large-scale educational toy company that produces and curates toys, media and STEAM experiences for black children and recently launched in-store and online at Target.

  • Sweeten connects potential home remodelers with quality construction labor to take advantage of competitive bids and fair estimates and has increased the number of projects awarded year over year in Chicago (337%), philadelphia cream (125%) and Los Angeles (80%).

1863 Ventures prides itself on investing in start-up companies and entrepreneurs to achieve scale and generational wealth. 1863 Fund is a component of 1863 Ventures’ business development initiatives aimed at generating $100 billion in wealth by and for the new majority by 2030. Learn more about the 1863 Fund’s portfolio companies in the 2021 Impact Report.

About 1863 Ventures

1863 Ventures is the nation’s premier nonprofit business development and venture capital accelerator for new mainstream entrepreneurs, historically marginalized people. The DC-based organization supports more than 1,500 founders across United States through an organized curriculum and grant support. 1863 Ventures also funds 13 portfolio companies, investing more than $2 million in strategic capital in the fintech, software, hair care and beauty, healthcare and bakery sectors. Learn more at 1863ventures.net.

Contact: Maxwell Young1863 Companies
Email: [email protected]



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