Just a year ago Ada Ventures launched its first fund focused on impact investing. Today it has announced it has closed $50m.
Ada Ventures positions itself as a “first-cheque seed fund” which looks to make venture capital more accessible and diverse.
The fund is aiming to have the “most diverse pipeline, and portfolio, of any fund in the continent,” by investing in firms that tackle issues including mental health, workers rights and affordable childcare.
“When we launched we couldn’t have predicted the seismic changes and tragedy brought on by Covid-19, or the social dislocation precipitated by the killing of George Floyd,” said founding partner Check Warner.
“These events have provided the backdrop of the first year of deployment from Ada Ventures Fund I. In light of these events, the Ada Ventures strategy feels more poignant – and urgent – han it has perhaps ever been.”
Ada has invested in eight seed-stage companies with half of the firms having female chief executives.
More than half of the deal flow came without a warm introduction, which Warner has previously warned is damaging for the diversity of the sector.
A recent British Business Bank (BBB) report revealed that angel investors in the UK are “predominantly male and White with an average of 55 years old”.
Warner has previously told City A.M. that angel investing has “high barriers to entry” given the need to have a huge amount of capital and make regular, fairly risky investments into young companies.
“Due to the profile of most angel investors, this means that companies founded by founders from diverse background being overlooked.”
In October the firm, named after the first computer programme Ada Lovelace, launched a £250,000 angel investor programme to create a new generation fo investors who may have otherwise been excluded from the industry.
One of the five new investors has made their first £10,000 investment.