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Identity.vc Boosts Europe's LGBTQ+ Venture Landscape

Identity.vc, a Berlin-based venture firm founded by Til Klein & Jochen Beutgen, is pioneering LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs
July 2, 2024

Til Klein and Jochen Beutgen discovered a gap in Europe's startup ecosystem: a dedicated investment firm supporting LGBTQ+ founders. Frustrated by the absence of such a venture after five years, they took matters into their own hands. In 2023, they launched Identity.vc, headquartered in Berlin, with a mission to invest in early-stage companies led by LGBTQ+ individuals. Currently, Identity.vc is in the process of raising €50 million for its inaugural fund, having already secured €15 million. The firm, which includes Mari Luukkainen as a principal, targets investments ranging from €250,000 to €1.5 million across various sectors and geographic regions.

Klein emphasized the importance of authenticity and trust in investor relationships, advocating for LGBTQ+ founders to be open about their identities without fear of disadvantage. The response to Identity.vc's strategy has been overwhelmingly positive, with strong interest from limited partners (LPs) seeking diversification opportunities. A Morgan Stanley survey revealing that 45% of U.S. investors are keen to support LGBTQ+ founders underscores this growing trend.

Identity.vc stands out in a landscape where diversity in investment remains a crucial yet sometimes challenging pursuit. Unlike its U.S. counterparts, Identity.vc opts for a traditional fund structure to facilitate easier follow-on investments. The firm's deliberate choice of a substantial debut fund aims to signal its commitment and seriousness in supporting LGBTQ+ entrepreneurship across Europe.

Creating more than just a financial impact, Identity.vc has initiated community-building efforts through platforms like Slack, gathering 300 members, and hosting events in major European cities. These initiatives not only foster collaboration among LGBTQ+ founders and investors but also enhance deal flow and access to capital.

As Identity.vc continues to raise funds and expand its influence, Klein remains optimistic about the firm's potential to excel, driven by the belief that diversity-driven performance can lead to exceptional investment opportunities and meaningful societal impact.

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