Paul Judge will assume leadership as Chairman after serving as a Founding Investment Committee member.
(Black PR Wire) With the launch of the $100 million SB Opportunity Fund in June 2020, SoftBank Group (SoftBank) made an unprecedented commitment to invest in founders who have been marginalized and overlooked by venture capital. In less than three years, SoftBank successfully incubated the Opportunity Fund and deployed the initial $100 million into 75 Black- and Latinx-led companies. In addition, two of SoftBank Group’s core growth funds—Vision Fund 2 and the Latin America Fund—separately invested nearly $600 million in Opportunity Fund portfolio companies, for a total of nearly $700 million invested across SoftBank’s funds.
Ahead of the third anniversary of the fund, the Opportunity Fund is formally changing its name to Open Opportunity Fund, which symbolizes an evolution to open access to other LPs and organizations to invest in the fund. Open Opportunity Fund also announces the launch of Fund 2, with a $150 million target.
Paul Judge, Ph.D, will assume leadership of the fund as Chairman after serving as a Founding Investment Committee member. Judge and affiliated entities have entered into an agreement to acquire an ownership stake and become co-owners of the Open Opportunity Fund. This exemplifies diverse participation at all levels: ownership, management, team, and portfolio. Fund 2 will deploy the same strategy of investing in outstanding Black- and Latinx-founded companies.
SoftBank remains committed to building a community of diverse founders and continues to support the fund as the founding LP and an investor in Fund 2.
The Open Opportunity Fund team has been working together for nearly three years and includes Chad Harris, Dami Osunsanya, and Jeff Asiedu.
“SoftBank proved that the Opportunity Fund model works for increasing access to capital for founders who have been traditionally overlooked, and we remain committed to the fund and its mission,” said Brett Rochkind, Managing Partner of SoftBank Investment Advisors. “Paul Judge is a seasoned leader strongly positioned to take the Fund into its next chapter as we invite new partners to join SoftBank in our commitment."
“I applaud SoftBank’s commitment to supporting diverse founders by creating this fund almost three years ago and continuing to invest in it,” Judge said. “Diverse founders have an unwavering spirit and ingenuity that allows their unique perspective to successfully solve problems and build meaningful companies. I am excited to welcome new partners to join us in this work of supporting diverse founders.”
The Open Opportunity Fund portfolio includes Atomic, Brex, Career Karma, Cityblock Health, Eight Sleep, Esusu, Greenwood, Lendtable, Mayvenn, Paystand, PlayVS, Praxis Labs, QuickNode, Squire, and Subject. The fund has had seven exits.
Source: Opportunity Fund