The first founders of Latin Companies based in the US have found a new potential source of capital.
L’Attitude Ventures The financial services heavyweight announced today that it has closed its first institutional fund, raising more than $100 million, including a “strategic anchor investment” from JPMorgan Chase.
The San Diego, California-based firm seeks to invest exclusively in Latina(o)-owned Series A companies with “high growth potential.”
L’Attitude’s decision to back only Latino(o) companies in Latin America, not headquarters in Latin America, is based on the fact that US-based Latinos create 50% of new employer-based businesses and hold $2.7 trillion in economic power, said partner Laura Moreno Lucas.
“…and yet they are very low capital, with less than 2% in early VC and 1% in late stage,” she added. 2021 Bain Capital Research Report. “So we think the opportunity is right here in the U.S., which is what we call the new mainstream economy.”
Notably, the company’s partners come from diverse – and fascinating – backgrounds:
- Managing Partner, Co-Founder and CEO Sol Trujillo is the former CEO of Telstra, Orange SA and US West. He also serves as Chairman of L’Attitude LP Trujillo Group, a Latino donor cooperative, and a board member of Bank of America, PepsiCo and Target.
- Managing Partner, Co-Founder and President Gary Acosta He is the founder and CEO of the National Association of Hispanic Realtors, as well as the founder of several mortgage, real estate and technology companies.
- Managing Partner, Co-Founder and CIO Kenny Blanco is a former portfolio manager at BlackRock and former president of Bay Area Latino Finance.
- Partner Oscar Munoz is the former. cHairstylist and CEO of United Airlines, and currently at CBRE Group Inc. and Univision Holdings Inc. He sits on the Board of Directors, and also serves as an Independent Trustee on the Board of Fidelity’s Equity and High Income Funds.
- Lucas is the founder and CEO of PandoCap, a strategic consulting and media services firm, as well as an advisor to 500 Startups. Lucas was previously a managing director at Nasdaq, where she led the IPOs of Beyond Meat, Lyft, The RealReal, Airbnb and other high-profile companies. She also co-founded Ladada, a fashion subscription startup.
Both Munoz and Lucas join the organization in early 2022.
JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon said in a prepared statement, “Latino-led businesses are vital to the U.S. economy, but often lack the capital and resources to grow…Our investment in L’Attitude Ventures builds on our broad commitment to support them. America’s Latino entrepreneurs and small businesses across the country.
Bank of America and Trujillo Group, a private equity firm focused on real estate investment, were also early “key” investors, the fund said. Other LPs include UC Investments and MassMutual, Barclays, the Royal Bank of Canada, Polaris Limited Partners (Oscar Munoz), Cisco and Nuveen Investments.
L’Attitude’s raised its first funding in 2019, closing $5 million in a round of capital led by Munoz and Salesforce co-founder, chairman and CEO Marc Benioff. The firm opened Fund II in 2021 and closed just over a year later, Lucas said.
L’Attitude has already backed several companies including Listo, Flow Founders and Camino Financial. It plans to invest in another 20 ventures, rounding out its portfolio to between 40 and 50 startups. Average check sizes range from $750,000 to $1.5 million.
Most of the firm’s significant investments are fintech companies, but Lucas says the firm is industry agnostic.
“We saw that those large fintech LPs could serve as a launch pad to help drive and grow our portfolio,” she told TechCruach.
In general, L’Attitude partners believe that the financial institutions that support the fund have more than ulterior motives. They will see opportunity.
“This fund…represents the opening salvo in an investment boom directed at this sector of early-stage companies that are founded or led by Latina(o) entrepreneurs and have high potential,” Trujillo said in a prepared statement. “Latina(o)-owned companies enjoy a built-in relationship with America’s growing group of young Latino consumers. Investing in their early growth promises a significant return on investment for at least the next 30-40 years.”
Muñoz agrees, calling the rising Latin American generation “the single largest market after the baby boomers, with a product larger than the total economy of most developed countries.”
“There has never been a better time to support and accelerate the growth of Latina(o)-owned companies,” he said.
L’holds the point of view Conference Every September, L’Attitude Ventures aims to create a platform for founders to compete for up to $20 million in capital, which it invests during the cycle. The fund said the competition is a platform for startups to develop other proven investors.
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