January 13, 2023

Black Investor Monique Woodard Launches $17M Fund To Spark ‘Demographic Change’

Black founder-turned-investor Monique Woodard has announced the launch of Cake Ventures‘ new $17 million fund to help pre-seed and seed investments. 

Cake Ventures’ first fund 

After closing her first fund in March 2021, Woodard shifted her focus to create a fund that would help underrepresented founders often overlooked by Silicon Valley. 

The $17 million fund will focus on pre-seed and seed investments. Woodard’s focus is to help businesses drive demographic change within three main areas: aging and longevity-minded population, increased earning power of women in society, and the shift to “majority-minority,” which Woodard as the “new majority.” The “New Majority” are early technology adopters who drive internet culture, making Asian, Black, and Latino people the fastest-growing consumer group in the U.S.  

“It’s the lens through which I view companies,” Woodard told Forbes. “Even companies that don’t ‘look like’ demographic change companies on the surface have a layer of this under the hood.” 

According to Forbes, Cake Ventures will look to make over 20 investments from its fund. So far, they have made 12 investments in companies like training startup Bright, household bills tracker app Geralad and disability and neuro-divergence support business Joshin, alongside others.  

The challenging process of starting a fund 

Despite having extensive investing experience, Woodard has openly discussed the difficulties she faced as a first-time fund manager and a Black woman trying to break the “glass ceiling.”  

Initially, the entrepreneur had planned to raise $20 million but decided to close the fund and proceed with less.

“I’ve said before that raising [a] fund is doing venture capital on hard mode,” Woodard added. “And raising a fund as a woman is like crawling through the glass and raising a fund as a Black woman is like crawling through glass with no clothes on, and then they pour fire ants all over you. So, it was going to be hard.” 

Statistics show that Black women female founders raise 0.64% of all venture capital despite being the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs.  

The work Woodard is doing is not only opening doors for entrepreneurs but showing Black female startup founders that anything is possible. 

Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpakima is a reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.