While female founders raised the lowest proportion of total capital since 2017, just over 1% of overall VC funding in Europe went to founding teams solely made up of ethnic minorities last year.
Leveling the playing field, Porto-based digital musculoskeletal care provider SWORD Health founders Virgílio Bento and Márcio Colunas have launched a new venture capital fund focused on investing exclusively in companies founded by underrepresented entrepreneurs. The founding partners will be joined by four founding members, André Eiras, Fernando Correia, Ivo Gabriel who have committed $5 million over the next 5 years for the new fund, EX Capital.
Virgílio Bento, co-founder, EX Capital said: “Many of the hardest working and innovative entrepreneurs in the world come from underrepresented backgrounds, yet they continue to receive a smaller share of global venture capital. With our new VC fund, we will work to balance this inequity by specifically supporting companies founded by underrepresented entrepreneurs, helping to uplift their ideas and establish a stronger ecosystem for continued support.”
EX Capital will also provide access to knowledge, mentoring, networking and resources to increase the likelihood of underrepresented entrepreneurs’ success from ethnic, racial social minitorities and gender.
The company had raised $163 million in a Series D funding round giving it a $2 billion valuation in November last year.