The Kapor Center has recently launched a new website for our start-up investment activities, Kapor Capital, designed by our partners at Design Action Collective. Kapor Capital is a seed stage firm that invests in tech start-ups with a social impact focus. We invest in approximately 25 companies annually.
One of the companies in our portfolio is Pigeonly. Based out of Las Vegas, Pigeonly consolidates data about inmates and facilitates communication and connection (via phone calls and photos) between incarcerated people and their loved ones. This initiative not only increases the affordability of communication and accessibility between inmates and the outside world, studies show that keeping ties with loved ones reduces prison recidivism rates.
Another tech company we invested in is LendUp, a socially responsible lender that provides loans to consumers that banks and credit unions deny, helping people build credit and get out of debt. Plaza Familia, a Kapor Capital invested business, is a bilingual education platform that offers comprehensive common core standards and individualized learning plans for students.
The diversity of our portfolio sets us apart from most other venture firms. 46 percent of our companies have a founder who is a woman or a person of color from an underrepresented background. 31 percent of our first-time investments have a female founder of any background and 23 percent of our first-time investments have a founder of a racially underrepresented background.
The new Kapor Capital website makes it easy to understand what we are looking for in potential investment companies and navigate the application process. Kapor Capital is seeking diverse candidates for seed funding, including people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender-identified entrepreneurs, women, people with disabilities, undocumented and immigrant applicants.
It is our fundamental belief that the most disruptive and effective tech solutions to society’s challenges will come from communities that disproportionately face these challenges. We’re betting on it.