Two racial equity-minded DC funds secured investments from Bank of America

The funding directed at Zeal Capital Partners and The Marathon Fund is part of the financial institution's larger $1 billion commitment addressing social issues in minority populations.

The nation's capital.

(Photo via Pixabay, used under a Creative Commons license)

Two D.C.-based funds have secured investments from Bank of America as part of the financial institution’s $1 billion, four-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity in the U.S.

Zeal Capital Partners and the Marathon Fund are among the first nine to land funding from Bank of America. Ultimately, the financial institution will investing approximately $150 million across 40 funds focused on amplifying founders of underrepresented races and genders. These funds are based in 21 markets across the country, though Bank of America hasn’t disclosed the full list of recipients yet.

Specific investment amounts for each recipient fund were not disclosed.

“By accelerating the flow of capital into funds focused on investing in Black, Hispanic-Latino, other under-represented minority and women-led businesses, we can help level the playing field,” said Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan in a statement. “These funds support diverse entrepreneurs across the U.S. and will drive innovation and economic opportunities, creating more jobs and wealth in communities.”

The $150 million for racial equity-minded funds is part of the broader $1 billion commitment, announced in June 2020, which aims to address social issues in minority populations, including in the areas of health, venture capital, jobs and education. The company said it will continue to roll out its plans for this initiative over time.

This investment is another big win for Zeal Capital Partners, which launched less than a year ago. Led by local venture capitalist Nasir Qadree, the inclusivity-minded firm focused on investing in early-stage fintech and future-of-work companies recently closed its first fund valued at $22.3 million last November. Zeal has already made investments in New York-based fintech company Esusu and Dallas-based Kanarys, curator of a SaaS-based diversity, equity and inclusion platform.

Advertisement talked to Qadree in the fall about what he thinks needs to change in the venture capital world to see more inclusive investments. He’s also featured in the season two premiere of our investor education podcast, Off the Sidelines.

These are the seven other funds that recently secured investments from Bank of America:

  • Fearless Fund – Atlanta
  • Harlem Capital – New York
  • New Community Transformation Fund – Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Reign Ventures – New York
  • Serena Ventures – San Francisco
  • TMV – New York
  • VamosVentures – Los Angeles
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