Backstage Capital Founder and Managing Partner Arlan Hamilton may be new to the angel investing scene, but she has already made her intentions clear: fund as many women of color as possible.
She started the fund in 2015 after finding herself at home in Silicon Valley, but also realizing that there were not many others like her thriving in that space.
“I noticed it was the land of opportunity, but not for everyone,” Hamilton told TechCrunch. “It just dawned on me one day: if I can’t get these investors to take some of the founders seriously just because they don’t look like the last person they invested in, then maybe I should just try to put together some money and make those decisions myself. And maybe that’ll kickstart something.”
With a stated mission to invest in startups founded by underrepresented people in tech, including people of color and LGBTQ people, her firm has invested in 31 companies to date, with investments of $25,000 to $100,000 per startup.
Now, with a little experience under her belt, Hamilton has her sights set on investing in her second class of companies, with investments in the same range as the first class, and with an eye focused on bringing on more ventures led by women of color.
“With fund two, what I’m learning personally — and I’m happy to be super candid about this — the more I move forward and go, go, go and the more that we build out Backstage with our amazing crew, the more I see that I just want to invest in as many women of color as possible,” Hamilton told TechCrunch. “In fund three, I think you’ll see that it will only be women of color. That will probably be where we start moving.”