Who really changes the world?
Not government (not enough, anyway!). Founders. Founders create new innovation, jobs, and intergenerational wealth.
If we learned anything from 2020, it was the visceral pain that all types of Americans aren’t getting the solutions they need to thrive. 2020 grooved in us a need for change: change in our healthcare technology, change in our financial technology, change in our work technologies. It’s a resonant message for all of venture capital, and especially for seed-stage leaders like Valor and for regions like the Southeast.
So what’s the answer to changing our world for the better? It’s backing founders who’ve experienced the brokenness, have a compelling vision to heal the gap, and are writing software to make it happen. It’s the best time to be in Atlanta venture capital in my lifetime.
In December 2020, Valor closed just over $20 million on Fund 2, the Financial Inclusion Fund.
As we embark on Journey 2021, in the Southeast region and Atlanta,
- Valor Fund 2 is the first seed-stage institutional Atlanta venture capital fund founded by a woman.
- It’s the first institutional Atlanta venture capital firm with a codified approach to racial and gender inclusion.
- The core team has experience in over 100 venture capital financings.
- Goldman Sachs, Khosla, Felicis, Bessemer, Maveron and Initialized are among follow-on investors in Valor portfolio companies already. We’ll be growing our relationships with more best-in-class, inclusive firms who lead at Series A and B in the year ahead. Drop me a line if you want to get in the loop on next rounds from courageous Valor founders.
With 40% of the U.S. population in the Southeast, and the greatest density of founders and executives of color, Valor’s home is the heart of the briar patch where better technology is born.
But will it be funded? With Valor’s new fund, that answer is yes. Our home turf is where the founders and the issues grow tightly together. Intertwined with the pains of an unequal society are the solutions from informed founders.
Valor will lead between 7–9 seed rounds in 2021, with a check ranging from $500K-$1M in rounds typically $1M-$3M.
Our pipeline is swelling through our signature investor introduction platform for under-represented founders, Startup Runway. We’re more compelled than ever by the visions of overlooked, overachieving founders, especially after a horrifying year of COVID-19 ravaging many of our brightest and most beleaguered.
As I write this, COVID-19 slaughtered 1 in 800 Americans who happen to be Black. The true criminal isn’t the virus-it’s the system that lets swaths of our population suffer in second class. COVID-10 also ushered in a “she-cession.” McKinsey reports 1 in 4 working women are considering leaving the workforce because of social-workforce pressure in the home. Oh wait — women ARE the majority of the workforce! Who will solve this? Like you, I hope our government levels up, sure — but my money, quite literally, is on the founders.
Entrepreneurs build peaceful revolutions from the business model up, as history has shown us century after century. Valor founders are weaving fresh financial futures for us, and you can see those threads in our portfolio. I look forward to the courageous companies we’ll back in 2021. I am excited to meet more founders who are weaving the loose threads of our broken systems into stronger cloth across the internet, across fintech, across healthcare technologies and more.
Growing a portfolio of courage and conviction
We’re looking for founders who’ve experienced a pain first-hand and are developing software to solve it right here in the Southeast. They are an inclusive team and know inclusion builds a first-class team for all time. In terms of stage, they have not yet had a seed equity round (first equity) and are looking for that elusive lead investor to bring a meaningful round together. That’s where we fit in. If you are this founder or you know this founder, let’s get to know each other.
The time is now for courage, for conviction and for creating a better world.
I’m looking forward to hearing from you. Let’s take on 2021 together.
A note about this artwork. Valor commissioned celebrated local artist Brandon Sadler, whose work is featured in the High Museum and on set for feature films, including Black Panther, to create a vision of 2020 Triumphant. This vision of transformation and healing from the pain of a pandemic year incorporates Atlanta’s icon, the Phoenix, just rising in vivid, healing greens and blues to an Atlanta skyline.
Originally published at https://valor.vc on December 31, 2020.