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Monique Woodard Launches $17 Million Fund for Startups Driving Demographic Change

Black investor, Monique Woodard has launched a $17-million fund under her new venture capital firm, Cake Ventures. This fund, which comes as Monique’s first under Cake Ventures, is supported by Bank of America, Cendana Ventures, Foundry Group, Pivotal Ventures, Plexo Capital, and Screendoor.

Announcing the seed funding via her official Twitter handle, Monique noted that “raising a debut fund is never easy – even if you have prior investing experience. But first funds are like classic hip-hop albums — they outperform.”

According to the African-American venture capitalist, Cake Ventures aims to make pre-seed and seed investments in companies at the forefront of demographic change.

Monique noted that the change would be in terms of an aging and longevity-minded population, the increased earning power of women in society, and a shift towards early-tech adopters coming from Asian, Black, and Latino backgrounds.

“I’m interested in companies that help people age in place, access healthcare, manage finances, or find work and purpose beyond retirement.”

From the recently launched fund, Monique, who plans to make about 25 investments, has made 12 investments already.

In her words, Woodard stressed that she looked at companies differently before investing in them. She said “It’s the lens through which I view companies. Even companies that don’t ‘look like’ demographic change companies on the surface have a layer of this under the hood.”

Monique expressed belief that the targeted start-ups in the fund would cater to customer bases that reflected the layers of demographic change.

Monique Woodard’s career as a venture capitalist

Monique has been a veteran of startups and venture capital for two decades. In 2016, Woodard made headlines when she joined 500 Startups as its first African-American venture partner. This is because she increased the firm’s investments in black and Latino tech entrepreneurs.

During her stay at 500 startups, Monique also led a $25-million microfund that made significant investments in Black and Latino founders and growing markets.

The African-American venture capitalist, after her stay at 500 ventures became a Venture Scout at Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Monique also holds 2 board and advisor roles as Founding Advisor at Women 2.0 and Board Member at Silvernest.

Monique also served as a trusted advisor to foundations and venture capital firms like SoftBank, where she advised on the Vision Fund’s Emerge program.

Monique’s investment history 

Monique Woodard is known for her expertise in consumer and enterprise technology and has invested in startups in a wide range of sectors, including education, healthcare, and financial services.

Described as an early-stage investor at the intersection of technology and newly powerful consumer groups, Monique investments include Blavity, Court Buddy, Mented Cosmetics, Silvernest, and many others. 

The African American Venture Capitalist on June 15, 2020, invested in Pre Seed Round – Gemist.

Today, Monique prioritises investment in the future of technology being driven by major demographic trends. She invests in companies with global ambitions, creating technology products that meet the needs of tomorrow’s internet users.

Monique has also been a mentor and advocate for underrepresented founders and has served on the boards of several startups. 

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