SoftBank is changing the name of its Opportunity Fund ahead of its third anniversary and just as it announces a new $150 million second fund.
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The SB Opportunity Fund — a $100 million fund that launched in June 2020 — will now be called the “Open Opportunity Fund.” The change is to symbolize the fund’s open access for other LPs and organizations to invest in it instead of being solely backed by SoftBank.
Serial entrepreneur and investor Paul Judge will assume leadership of the fund as chairman after serving as a founding investment committee member. Because the fund now allows outside inventors, Judge and others have agreed to acquire an ownership stake in the Open Opportunity Fund.
The new Open Opportunity Fund — Fund 2 — has a $150 million target as it looks to continue investing in Black- and Latino-led startups.
“SoftBank proved that the Opportunity Fund model works for increasing access to capital for founders who have been traditionally overlooked, and we remain committed to the fund and its mission,” said Brett Rochkind, managing partner of SoftBank Investment Advisors. “Paul Judge is a seasoned leader strongly positioned to take the Fund into its next chapter as we invite new partners to join SoftBank in our commitment.”
Drop in funding
The news of the second fund comes amidst a decline in venture in general — but especially to underrepresented founders.
For instance, venture capital to Black-founded startups declined sharply last year. After a record $5.1 billion in venture capital during the height of the market in 2021, Black-founded startups based in the U.S. saw that number more than halved — $2.3 billion — as VCs pulled back significantly in 2022.
Since its inception, the Opportunity Fund has deployed its initial $100 million into 75 Black- and Latinx-led companies.
Some of the fund’s portfolio companies include Atomic, Brex, Career Karma, Mayvenn and Squire.
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