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Black-owned Cake Ventures launches $17M VC fund

The fund is backed by major investors, including Pivotal Ventures (a Melinda French Gates company), Cendana Ventures, Bank of America, and more.

Black-owned Cake Ventures launches $17M VC fund
Cake Ventures founder Monique Woodard. LINKEDIN PHOTO

Cake Ventures, a Black-owned pre-seed and seed venture capital firm, has announced a $17 million fund — the company’s first.

Backed by major investors, including Pivotal Ventures (a Melinda French Gates company), Cendana Capital, Screendoor, Plexo Capital, Foundry Group, and Bank of America, founder Monique Woodard says she sees an opportunity to invest in tech companies, specifically led by women and people of colour.

“All the work in my career has led me to this point,” Monique Woodard, founder and managing director of Cake Ventures, said in a statement. “I see a massive opportunity to invest in venture-scale technology companies that impact the lives of the millions of people who make up tomorrow’s internet users. Revolutionary technology is already being created in this space, and I want to back the founders creating generational technology companies whose growth will be accelerated by these emerging consumers.”

Monique has experience as an angel and venture investor as well as a business owner and operator. As a venture partner at 500 Global, she started her career in venture capital, making investments in start-ups, including Silvernest and Blavity. Monique worked as a venture scout at Lightspeed Venture Partners after leaving 500 Global.

Woodard says she will invest in approximately 20 companies, writing cheques between $250,000 to $500,000. She added that Cake Ventures would invest in U.S. and Canadian businesses.

Based in Silicon Valley, Cake Ventures is concentrated on three key markets:

Aging and longevity: Americans over 65 will surpass those under 18 in number by 2034, according to Cake Ventures research. It presumes that aging consumers will use software to help them age, access healthcare, manage finances, or find work or purpose beyond retirement.

Billion-dollar female economy: The growing purchasing power of women is expected to generate billions of dollars for businesses with sizable female customer bases in industries including direct-to-consumer marketing, women’s health, and the numerous ways women invest, save, and spend money.

BIPOC groups: As Black, Asian and Latino populations increase in number in the U.S.; they stand for shifting technological consumption patterns. They directly impact internet culture, which affects social interactions, financial empowerment and the nature of the future of employment.

The company has already invested in successful companies like Klarna, a buy-now-pay-later fintech company; CityBlock Health, a healthcare provider for underserved communities; and Weee!, grocery delivery for Asian and Latino foods.

Others include Most Days, a behavioural health platform that helps people create healthy habits that extend quality and length of life; Guaranteed, a company using technology to reimagine hospice care and end-of-life; and Bright, AI-powered immersive training and skills development for an evolving workforce.

To celebrate the launch, she curated a Spotify playlist full of rap and hip-hop classics from artists such as Jay-Z, Nas, the Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, and the Notorious B.I.G. Check it out below!