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Diverse Venture Power: Black Tech Nation Ventures

This venture has successfully raised its inaugural $50M fund, dedicated to supporting pre-seed and seed-stage software
February 29, 2024

Black Tech Nation Ventures (BTNV) emerged in 2021, a response to the pressing need for funding equity among Black founders amidst a surge of diversity initiatives sparked by the tragic murder of George Floyd in 2020. Now, three years later, as the fervor for diversity-focused investments faces mounting challenges, BTNV's mission stands resolute, perhaps more critical than ever.

Based in Pittsburgh, this pioneering venture firm has successfully secured its inaugural fund of $50 million, dedicated to supporting pre-seed and seed-stage software startups led by underrepresented founders, including Black, women, and LGBTQ+ individuals. Backed by prominent LPs such as Alphabet, First National Bank, and billionaire Mark Cuban, BTNV's journey to reach its fundraising goal was a testament to both the initial surge of support and the subsequent challenges faced in the evolving investment landscape.

David Motley, a general partner at BTNV, described the fundraising journey as initially promising, with a first close of $25 million in 2021, fueled by heightened interest in diversity-focused funds. However, market dynamics shifted, presenting hurdles in the latter half of the fundraising process as investor sentiment waned. Despite the pushback against diversity initiatives seen across various sectors, including venture capital, BTNV remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering inclusivity in entrepreneurship.

While navigating the shifting tides of investment sentiment, BTNV maintains its focus on backing innovative startups in sectors like fintech, edtech, and clean tech, with checks ranging from $250,000 to $1 million. The firm's investment strategy extends beyond coastal hubs, seeking opportunities in cities across the U.S., including Cleveland, Indianapolis, and Atlanta.

Beyond financial support, BTNV aims to catalyze broader impact by actively engaging with portfolio companies, facilitating connections with additional investors, and leveraging collaborations with organizations like Black Tech Nation. Through strategic partnerships and community engagement, BTNV endeavors to amplify the voices of underrepresented founders and drive meaningful change in the venture capital landscape.

Motley emphasizes that, beyond political divides, BTNV's primary objective is to deliver exceptional returns while championing diversity and inclusion. By prioritizing investment in underserved markets, BTNV seeks to demonstrate the inherent value of supporting diverse founders, transcending transient political narratives to foster long-term prosperity for all stakeholders.

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