Softbank Transfers Ownership of Open Opportunity Fund to Black and Latino Executives

Softbank is selling its Open Opportunity Fund to its chairman and managing partner, Paul Judge, and Marcelo Claure, who is being appointed the fund’s vice chairman and general partner. Judge and Claure will fully own the firm’s $100 million Open Opportunity Fund 1, the $150 million Fund 2, as well as the entire portfolio. Claure called the acquisition a “significant milestone,” saying it “demonstrates a concrete move towards more diverse representation within all layers of the venture capital ecosystem.”Softbank rebranded its Opportunity Growth Fund to Open Opportunity Fund (OOF) earlier this year, and appointed Judge as its chairman, who became co-owner of the Fund. Fund 1 deployed $100 million in 75 Black-and-Latino companies, yielding seven exits and 46 follow-on rounds. Fund 1 companies may also receive funding from Fund 2 on a “case-by-case basis,” Judge said.

Softbank, the tech investment company, is making moves in its venture capital arm. The company has announced the sale of its Open Opportunity Fund to its chairman and managing partner, Paul Judge, and Marcelo Claure, who will now serve as the fund’s vice chairman and general partner.

Judge and Claure will now be the full owners of the firm’s $100 million Open Opportunity Fund 1 and the $150 million Fund 2. Additionally, they will have control over the entire portfolio. In exciting news, Fund 2, which was launched earlier this year, will now aim for an even higher target of $200 million.

Claure called the acquisition a “significant milestone,” stating that it “demonstrates a concrete move towards more diverse representation within all layers of the venture capital ecosystem.”

Softbank made headlines earlier this year when it rebranded its Opportunity Growth Fund to the Open Opportunity Fund (OOF). Along with this change, Judge was appointed as the fund’s chairman and became a co-owner. Claure, who initially launched OOF, previously served as Softbank’s COO until 2022 and is now returning to work with the fund after a year away.

In regards to Claure’s involvement, Judge stated, “Marcelo brings a wealth of experience and a vast network that can help our portfolio companies. Marcelo’s extensive network of Latino entrepreneurs significantly enriches our deal flow within this vibrant community.”

Fund 1 has already made a significant impact, deploying $100 million in 75 Black-and-Latino companies. This resulted in seven exits and 46 follow-on rounds. Softbank will continue to support Fund 2 as an LP, and Claure explains that the fund is actively seeking other investors who are committed to driving diversity in the tech ecosystem. He adds that they are looking for those who “value the importance of supporting underrepresented entrepreneurs.”

Fund 2 has specific targets in mind and will invest in 50 pre-seed to growth-stage companies in sectors such as fintech, health tech, edtech, sales and marketing, and enterprise IT. Judge also mentioned that Fund 1 companies may receive additional funding from Fund 2 on a “case-by-case basis.”

When asked about their focus on Black and Latino founders, Judge stated, “We believe the Black and Latino founder market is an untapped source of outsized returns, and this focus allows us to find alpha that other VCs have overlooked. The impressive performance of Fund I proves that our thesis works.”

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Kira Kim

Kira Kim is a science journalist with a background in biology and a passion for environmental issues. She is known for her clear and concise writing, as well as her ability to bring complex scientific concepts to life for a general audience.

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