AMA with Latino Leaders in Venture Capital

On October 13th, as part of our Latino Representation series for Hispanic Heritage Month, we assembled a panel of Latino leaders in the world on Venture Capital.

The goal was to learn about the current Latino representation in the VC ecosystem and discuss opportunities for funding and what you can do to prepare your startup to pitch investors.

Being part of Amigos means we identify problems by learning the data and then finding changemakers who can direct us towards solutions and how we can be a part of effecting change.

What Does The Data Say?

According to data from Crunchbase Latino entrepreneurs receive only 2 percent of U.S. venture capital investments, despite making up nearly half of the net new small business growth in the last 10 years.

A report by the Latino Donor Collaborative, Latino economic output in 2020 was $2.8 trillion, making Latinos the world’s 5th largest economy. That translates into being larger than that of the UK, India, Canada, France, and Italy.

Also, Latinos are 1.7x more likely to start a business than any other racial group in the U.S.

The U.S. Latino population is expected to double in the next four decades which means there is tremendous opportunity for even more economic growth.

Latino startups are making huge contributions to the U.S. economy. Responsible for 50% of net new business growth over the past decade, Latino businesses are growing in annual revenue at 10% compared to the 7% for white-owned businesses.

According to a Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative report, the total number of small businesses in the U.S. would have actually declined between 2007 and 2012 if it weren’t for Latino entrepreneurs.

Looking at these figures, access to capital and VC investment in Latino entrepreneurs should be booming. That is not the case, as Latinos are not getting a share of investment capital that is anywhere near to their contributions.

Latino startups received a dismal 2 percent of U.S. venture capital investment, a number that hasn’t changed since 2017.

The Conversation

The data shows the disproportionate access to funding versus contributions by Latino businesses.

Amigos wanted to discuss this topic from the POV of Latinos who are leaders in VC with a specific focus on those who have created ventures and raised funds for the specific purpose of giving Latino startups more access to VC capital.

We invite you to listen to this conversation and take action, because together we are mighty Amigos!

The Panel:

Marcos Gonzalez, Founder & Managing Partner of VamosVentures
Valeria Martinez, Senior Associate at VamosVentures
Marcos Fernandez, Managing Partner at Fiat Ventures

Marcos C. Gonzalez

Marcos is the Founder and Managing Partner for VamosVentures. His career in strategy, private equity and tech entrepreneurship led him to found VamosVentures, a venture capital fund striving to invest in high-growth and over-looked opportunities represented by early-stage tech companies led by Latino and other diverse founders.
VamosVentures has successfully closed Fund I at $50mm and is preparing to raise a $100mm Fund II. To date, the fund has invested in 25 companies and 22 are led by Latino or Latina entrepreneurs. Marcos graduated from Brown University, earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and now resides in Downtown Los Angeles.

Marcos’ parents immigrated from Mexico to the United States where Marcos was born. He grew up in Los Angeles and began his career with IBM in Los Angeles and eventually joined the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) after business school.

Valeria Martinez

Valeria is an investor at VamosVentures, a venture capital fund investing in diverse founders, particularly Latino/a founders, who are building disruptive tech-driven solutions to some of today’s most pressing problems. Valeria started her career with Deloitte Consulting, where she focused on the intersection of human capital and technology. After almost half a dozen years in consulting, she made the pivot to the investing world, gaining experience at funds like Harlem Capital, PayPal Ventures, Avivar Capital, and Stanford’s Impact Fund. Valeria holds a BS from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she also earned a Certificate in Public Management and Social Innovation for her work and studies in social entrepreneurship. As the daughter of Mexican immigrant parents who started their own small business in the U.S., Valeria is proud to be investing in and empowering the communities she comes from.

Connect with Valeria on Social media:

Marcos Fernandez Bio

Marcos is the Managing Partner at Fiat Ventures and a Partner at Fiat Growth the Fintech market’s leading growth consultancy. He has an extensive operating background in the Fintech space having led Business Development at Ripple and Go-to-Market (GTM) strategy and execution at SoFi. He’s spent a large part of the last decade advising and investing in companies primarily in the Fintech space.
He holds an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and an undergraduate degree in Engineering Management and Chemical Engineering from the University of Arizona. Outside of work he enjoys spending time with his wife and two year old son, and mountain biking with their dog Zephyr.

Connect with Marcos Fernandez on social media:

Conclusion

It will be interesting to see how these numbers change within the next few years, hopefully, revealing growth in funding of Latino startups.

Now that you have the data and learned about some changemakers and projects, it’s time to jump into action. Remember to reach out to us, these projects and anyone else and TAKE ACTION!

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