L’Attitude Ventures closes $100M fund to support early-stage Latin American startup founders

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Early stage Latin American founders US-based companies have just received a new potential source of capital.

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L’Attitude Ventures announced today the closing of its first institutional fund, which has raised more than $100 million from several financial services heavyweights, including “strategic anchor investments” from JPMorgan Chase.

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The San Diego, California-based firm intends to invest exclusively in Hispanic-owned seeds in a Series A company with “high growth potential.”

L’Attitude’s decision to only support Hispanic-owned companies based in the US, and not companies headquartered in Latin America, is due to the fact that Hispanics in the US create 50% of all new employer-based businesses, and according to According to partner Laura Moreno Lucas, they have an economic power of $2.7 trillion.

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“…Yet they are the most undercapitalized, with less than 2% early-stage venture capital and 1% late-stage venture capital,” she added, quoting Bain Capital Research Report 2021. “So we think the opportunity is right here at home in the US, which we call the new mainstream economy.”

It is noteworthy that the partners of the firm have different and impressive experience:

  • Managing Partner, Co-Founder and CEO Saul Trujillo is the former CEO of Telstra, Orange SA and US West. He is also chairman of L’Attitude LP Trujillo Group, a Latino Donor Collaborative, and is a former board member of Bank of America, Pepsi and Target.
  • Managing Partner, Co-Founder and President Gary Acosta is the co-founder and CEO of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals and the founder of several mortgage, real estate and technology companies.
  • Managing Partner, Co-Founder and CIO Kenny Blanco is a former portfolio manager at BlackRock and former president of Bay Area Latinos in Finance.
  • Oscar Munoz partner – former Withhairdresser and CEO of United Airlines, and currently sits on the board of directors of CBRE Group Inc. and Univision Holdings Inc., and is an independent trustee on the Fidelity Stock and High Yield Funds Board.
  • Lucas is the founder and CEO of Pandocap, a strategy consulting and media services firm, and an advisor to 500 Startups. Lucas was previously a managing director at Nasdaq, where she led IPOs for Beyond Meat, Lyft, The RealReal, Airbnb, and other high-profile companies. She also founded and exited Ladada, a fashion subscription startup.

Both Munoz and Lucas joined the firm in early 2022.

In a prepared statement, JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon said, “Latin American businesses are critical to the US economy but often lack access to capital and resources to grow…Our investment in L’Attitude Ventures builds on our broader commitment to support American Hispanic Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses Nationwide.”

Bank of America and Trujillo Group, a private equity firm specializing in real estate investments, were also the first “key” investors, the fund said. Other LPs include UC Investments and MassMutual, Barclays, Royal Bank of Canada, Polaris Limited Partners (Oscar Munoz), Cisco and Nuveen Investments.

L’Attitude raised its (significantly smaller) first fund in 2019, closing at $5 million in a capital raise led by Munoz and Salesforce co-founder, chairman and CEO Marc Benioff. The firm launched Fund II in 2021 and shut it down just over a year later, according to Lucas.

L’Attitude has already backed several companies, including Listo, Flow Founders and Camino Financial. He plans to invest in 20 more ventures, adding to his portfolio of 40 to 50 start-ups. The average check size ranges from $750,000 to $1.5 million.

Most of the firm’s significant investments are in fintech companies, but Lucas says the firm is industry agnostic.

“We see these big fintech LPs being able to serve as a launching pad to help fuel and incentivize our portfolio,” she told TechCrunch.

As a rule, L’Attitude partners believe that the financial institutions that support the fund are not only guided by altruistic motives. They also see opportunities.

“This fund… represents the initial salvo of what is to be an investment boom aimed at this sector of early stage companies that are either founded or managed by Latin American entrepreneurs and have significant potential,” Trujillo said in a prepared statement. “Hispanic-owned companies (o) maintain close relationships with a rising generation of young American Hispanic consumers; investing in their early growth promises high returns on investment for at least the next 30-40 years.”

Munoz agrees, calling the rising generation of Hispanics “the biggest market since the Baby Boomer generation, with a GDP greater than the entire economy of most developed countries.”

“There has never been a better time to capitalize on and contribute to the rapid growth of Hispanic-owned companies,” he said.

L’Attitude has conference each September aimed to create a forum for founders to compete for up to $20 million in capital that L’Attitude Ventures invests over the cycle. The fund says the competition is also a platform for startups to introduce other vetted potential investors.

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Credit: techcrunch.com /

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