RockCreek announced today that it has surpassed $900 million invested in Black-owned and managed firms, companies, and funds. One of the world’s largest diverse-owned and managed investment firms, RockCreek invested $300 million in Black-owned and managed firms, companies, and funds in 2020.
“From the very beginning at RockCreek, we knew that many of the most successful and creative entrepreneurs, founders, and executives come from diverse backgrounds,”said Afsaneh Beschloss, RockCreek’s founder and CEO. “We have always invested in founders who are innovative in their thinking about solving difficult problems and building long-term value. We will continue seeking out diverse and inclusive talent that has been overlooked for far too long.”
Examples of recent investments include:
Zeal Capital Partners, a Washington, DC-based venture capital firm, founded by Nasir Qadree, focuses on partnering with exceptional diverse management teams, rethinking the building blocks of wealth-from education to employment to financial health-with the goal of turbocharging economic mobility. They do this through investing across two sectors: Financial Technology and the Future of Work verticals via their market-backed Inclusive Investing™ strategy.
Authentic Ventures, in Oakland, California, invests in high growth, early-stage technology companies with an emphasis on software, fintech, and digital health. The majority of the fund’s investments have been in underrepresented and female founder led companies.
Hollis Park Partners, an alternative asset manager that specializes in structured products that seeks long-term returns through long and short positions in a broad range of agency and non-agency securitized products.
Base10 Partners’ Advancement Initiative, which invests in leading pre-IPO companies and donates 50 percent of the profits directly to Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) to support their endowments and create scholarships.
Ocean Park Investments, an alternative firm specializing in listed companies with hard assets and cash flows in the North American and Western European markets.
“Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has never been an afterthought at RockCreek – it has always been a core part of a smart investment strategy,”said Alifia Doriwala, Managing Director at RockCreek. “The entrepreneurs we partner with understand that focusing on returns and impact isn’t an either-or proposition: the two go hand in hand, and they’re proving that every day.”
RockCreek’s ongoing focus on diverse investments comes amid a time of great challenge-and great opportunity-for investing in Black-owned businesses. For example, a recent McKinsey report based on Census Bureau data found that Black entrepreneurs start their businesses with, on average, $35,000 in capital, compared with an average of $107,000 for white founders.
“Capital is like oxygen for startups and small businesses,”said Tyson Pratcher, Managing Director at RockCreek. “We’re working hard to close the gap in access to capital by doing what we have always
done: investing in smart entrepreneurs and managers with strong ideas. A large part of that effort is seeking out founders and businesses in non-VC hub cities, where smart entrepreneurs are often overlooked.”