Collab Capital’s mission is to decrease the racial wealth gap by helping Black founded businesses overcome the funding and network challenges that often stifle their growth.

Investment Process

Our Thesis

At Collab Capital, we are committed to investing in innovative, early-stage, Black-owned companies. We are particularly interested in companies focused on three core areas:

The Future of Work

In the aftermath of the Covid-19 outbreak, we saw a tremendous uptick in remote work and geographically dispersed teams. This coincided with the already increasing demand for automation and collaboration tools as well as the expansion of e-commerce. We are interested in funding companies who are on the forefront of these trends and are building tech-enabled solutions for the workers and workplaces of the future.

The Future of Care

We are interested in backing entrepreneurs who are re-imagining and designing technology to increase access to all aspects of health and wellness including mental health, feminine care, and elder care.

The Future of Learning

Schools, universities and adult education providers have traditionally lagged behind other sectors from a technology standpoint. The Covid-19 pandemic and the move to remote learning emphasized a number of pre-existing pain points, including many that disproportionately affected Black students. We would love to meet startups on the cusp of the latest research and trends in education who are finding innovative ways to deliver information via technology.

We see broad access to knowledge, high quality care, and tools to work efficiently as core to a productive and enjoyable life. Historically, Black people have not been adequately considered in the systems, products and services that govern these areas. We want to ensure Black-owned companies have an equitable stake in the future of these industries and a platform to deliver more inclusive solutions and better outcomes for Black communities.

Black founders represent both the fastest growing entrepreneurial segment and the most under-resourced and under-networked segment in the US. At the intersection of these truths lies a massive market opportunity.

Who We Invest In

What We Look For

Innovative
Innovative
Innovative
Transparent
Coachable
Coachable
Community Minded
Community Minded
We are laser-focused on investing in companies that have at least one founder who identifies as Black/African American (this founder must also have a controlling equity stake in the company). To learn more about our mission to support Black founders, check out this blog post from our Managing Partner, Justin Dawkins.

Investment Criteria

Stage & Check Size

We are looking for early-stage companies . At minimum, we like to see a minimally viable product that has already been tested. Ideally, the product should already be on the market and generating some recurring revenue, as it signals that people are willing to pay for it. If your product is still in the idea stage, or you’re still building your MVP, you are likely too early for us.

We write first checks between $500-750K and follow on investments up to $2M. Our initial check size typically allows founders to reach the key milestones in their early stage startup, and therefore we prefer to either lead deals or be the sole investors in the round. We will participate in larger rounds on a very limited basis, however, the majority of our investments will be made on our SPACE agreement. To explore investment scenarios please read Jewel’s blog post.

Investment Criteria

Industry

In general, we are industry agnostic. We’re particularly interested in companies that we feel represent the future of work, care and learning, however, we have and will continue to invest in companies that may fall outside of this sphere.

Please Read Before Applying

There are a few industries that will almost always result in a quick “no” from us: biotechnology, cannabis and tobacco, cryptocurrency and tokens, food and beverage, gambling, liquor and spirits, professional services agencies, and real estate. Due to the nature of our fund, Collab Capital is not permitted to invest or provide grants to charitable organizations.

Investment Criteria

Market

Generally, we want to invest in companies approaching market sizes of $1B and above. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’re expecting your business to reach $1B+ outcomes, but we need to see that the market is large enough to be worthwhile. If you’re entering a highly competitive market with several large incumbents, we want to see that you’re poised to gain market share by doing things differently and/or better than your competitors.

Additionally, we look to see whether the market will be a good fit for our SPACE investment model.

Investment Criteria

Ethos

We aim to invest in a new class of entrepreneurs who are committed to things like giving back, hiring in their communities and investing in the founders that come after them. Founders who are purely focused on building their own business and personal wealth are not a fit for us. We like to see companies who are committed to gender pay equality, environmental sustainability, and other societal causes. Finally, our name is literally built on the concept of collaboration. We like working with founders who are coachable, hardworking, transparent and who share our passion for driving tangible change for the Black community.

Investment Criteria

Geography

While we will evaluate companies anywhere in the country, we are primarily looking to back companies based in cities with a high concentration of Black entrepreneurs and a low concentration of capital. Among these cities are our hometown of Atlanta, Washington DC, Houston, TX, Detroit, MI, St. Louis, MO and New Orleans, LA.

We are only able to invest within the US and US territories at this time.

Apply for Funding

Learn more about how we invest and what we look for in our founders and portfolio companies.