Artemis Fund has a contemporary $36 million to again numerous founders fixing ‘huge, bushy issues’


The Artemis Fund, which invests in underrepresented founders, closed on its second fund with $36 million in capital commitments.

Stephanie Campbell, Diana Murakhovskaya and Leslie Goldman Tepper based Artemis in 2019, naming the agency after the Greek goddess of the hunt, wild issues and a champion of girls.

Artemis, with workplaces in Houston and New York, leads seed rounds for numerous founders in fintech, commerce and care, having up to now composed a portfolio of over 20 firms which can be all led by feminine founders, with over 60% which have Black, Latinx or immigrant management.

The second fund is backed by a gaggle that features Financial institution of America, Financial institution of Montreal, TIAA Nuveen’s Churchill Asset Administration, Texas Capital Financial institution, Amazon, The Rockwell Fund and Ballentine Companions.

“We actually wished to guarantee that our LPs aligned with our long-term purpose of backing numerous founders,” Murakhovskaya informed TechCrunch. “There’s plenty of strain on that. We additionally need to develop with them.”

The agency’s technique is to “assist transfer the funding needle for feminine and numerous founders by main their rounds, advocating for them, offering entry to nationwide co-investors, and instituting self-discipline early to hit actual income progress,” Campbell stated.

“It’s good enterprise to have numerous views, and we felt that there was cash being left on the desk, and we’re there to be the most effective at it,” she stated. “We’re staying the course so we align the impression that we’re making with monetary returns, not just for our LPs, but in addition for the communities that these entrepreneurs come from.”

Extra capital focusing on feminine and underrepresented founders, from Artemis and others, for instance Amplifica Capital and Black Tech Nation Ventures, which just lately raised a $50 million fund, is nice. VC funding itself continues to be pretty stagnant in these areas, in accordance with my colleague Dominic-Madori Davis, who crunched the numbers on enterprise capital funding to those demographics earlier this month.

Funding to Black founders has declined since 2021, with Black founders within the U.S. elevating 0.48% of all enterprise {dollars} allotted final 12 months, which comes out to about $661 million out of $136 billion. Girls acquired 2% of the overall funding every year for the previous two years.

There’s some hope, although, albeit within the type of a blended bag. Feminine founders and co-founders secured extra capital total in 2023 than they did in 2020, in accordance with new Pitchbook analysis. Maybe it’s as a result of extra ladies are writing checks. Pitchbook reported that on the normal companion degree, the share of feminine check-writers on the largest enterprise capital corporations grew barely to 17.4%. On the similar time, although, the variety of female-led startups that secured funding fell by 25%.

Artemis started investing from its first fund of $15 million in 2019. There haven’t been any exits but, nonetheless, Campbell and Murakhovskaya say the portfolio is making progress. For instance, 60% of the businesses in Fund I’ve raised follow-on capital totaling $250 million. Amongst these, 70% got here from Artemis introductions.

Whereas Artemis is way from the one fund that focuses on numerous founders, it’s among the many few that additionally funds tech to deal with obstacles confronted by neglected and underrepresented companies, communities and households within the U.S., Campbell stated. Firms invested from the Fund I embrace senior residence well being firm Naborforce, rideshare startup HopSkipDrive, Improve, a customized wig and extensions firm, and company lactation room companies startup Work & Mom.

In the meantime, portfolio income from that fund elevated 4 occasions between 2021 to 2022 and two occasions between from 2022 to 2023. Whole Fund I income in 2023 was over $100 million, they stated.

For Fund II, Artemis intends to proceed main and co-leading investments and can goal round 20 new firms. Funds deployed from this fund have already gone into Payverse, another funds processor; Max Retail, an internet platform that helps retailers and types promote their unsold merchandise; and on-line divorce platform Whats up Divorce.

The agency will proceed to spend money on financial issues Campbell and Murakhovskaya say different VCs write off too shortly.

“Lots of people don’t like to speak about uncomfortable issues, despite the fact that they’re so prevalent in our lives,” Campbell stated. “We actually care about plenty of these underlying points that have an effect on a a lot larger inhabitants than individuals understand. Particularly within the care trade, it’s these huge, bushy issues that nobody appears to love. As a substitute we speak about how troublesome they’re and that there should be options to unravel them.”

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