Today we are excited to celebrate the latest success of Kim Folsom, an extraordinary CEO who happens to be Black and female. Our portfolio company Founders First Capital Partners has closed their Series A round! We’re proud to be supporting Founders First, a company that’s helping diverse-led founders reach their potential and grow in a post-pandemic world! The Impact Seat was among Founders’ early investors as part of our larger strategy to disrupt and democratize access to capital as we rebuild our economy. To date, only 2.3% of venture capital of any kind goes to female-led startups such as Kim’s. Investing in companies like Founders First is a cornerstone of our successful strategy.
This round was significantly oversubscribed and will enable Founders First to continue leveling the playing field for diverse-led small businesses by accelerating its deployment of a $100 million credit facility from Community Investment Management. Since the initial Series A funding round in February 2021 (led by Rockefeller Foundation), W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Pivotal Ventures: a Melinda French Gates company, the Schultz Family Foundation, Surdna Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and Arc Chicago LLC have joined on as investors.
Founders First helps support small businesses led by women, people of color, LGBTQ+, military veterans and companies in low to moderate income areas by offering acceleration services and revenue-based funding (RBF). This funding is more flexible than traditional bank debt, allowing for payments to vary based on monthly revenue, and it helps minimize the use of merchant cash advances (MCA) that can leave businesses with annual rates in the triple digits.
Check out a special below interview between our Founder Barbara Clarke and FFCP Founder Kim Folsom on equitable funding and investing in women-led teams