August 4, 2023

Serial Entrepreneur Who Sold His Tech Firm For 11x Its Revenue Is Raising $50M To Back Founders Of Color

Black tech entrepreneur Luke Cooper aims to raise $50 million by November for his Baltimore-based venture capital firm, Latimer Ventures.

Latimer Ventures

Latimer Ventures, named in honor of Lewis Latimer, an African American inventor born to fugitive slaves, is a venture capital firm focused on helping the next generation of Black and Hispanic enterprise SaaS unicorns.

They source the best seed deals from diverse managers and connect them with tech startups.

Cooper founded Latimer Ventures in 2022 to address the lack of capital available to entrepreneurs of color. He plans to make investments of $1 million to $4 million, followed by follow-on investments.

He has already invested $2 million in four companies – Pienso, AI Squared, Meter Feeder and CyDeploy. 

Funding Black Founders

With a current decline in private investment and Black people likely to be significantly impacted by the downturn, Cooper told Forbes he sees less institutional interest in supporting Black causes than a few years ago.

“We’re accustomed to the fact that when America gets a cold, Black people get the flu,” he said.

However, he did acknowledge the potential in companies as Black founders are progressing with a higher success rate than their non-Black counterparts.

“Within the enterprise technology, Black founders are over-performing – 1 in 3 is getting Series A funding vs 1 in 15 overall.”

Cooper’s Experiences

Cooper believes his own experiences with funding are particularly helpful for the firm.

Read: Meet The Black Founder Who Sold His Tech Firm For Over 11x Its Revenue

He faced a challenging VC environment in 2020 when he had to take a risk with his company Fixt, which he sold for 11x its revenue, and when he co-founded the company in 2013, he faced difficulties raising capital due to how quickly it grew.

“The folks who teach this stuff often lack a complete understanding of the world we come from and how it might limit our ability to trust,” he told Forbes.

According to Maryland Inno, Cooper originally planned to raise a $250 million venture capital fund but scaled it back to $50 million.

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.