Amazon to Invest $150M in Funds That Provide Underrepresented Entrepreneurs with Access to Capital


Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) launched Amazon Catalytic Capital, a new initiative to invest $150m in venture capital (VC) funds, accelerators, incubators, and venture studios that provide funding to entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds, primarily at the pre-seed/seed stage of venture capital funding.

The company will invest in funds that focus on Black, Latino, Indigenous, women, and LGBTQIA+ founders.

Amazon expects to support more than 10 funds and over 200 companies through the next year.

In addition to capital, the companies in the funds’ portfolios will receive mentorship from Amazon executives and gain access to resources to support their business and technical strategy. Amazon teams will also work with the startups to identify partnership and product collaboration opportunities that could accelerate their growth.

Through this initiative, Amazon has invested in the following funds:

  • Collide Capital, a Black-owned seed and pre-seed venture capital fund led by two founders under the age of 35: Aaron Samuels, who co-founded AfroTech, and Brian Hollins, who is a founding Board Member of BLCK VC. To date, Collide Capital has backed over 40 companies, of which 80%+ are led by Black, Latino, and/or female founders.
  • Elevate Future Fund, which, overseen by Energy Impact Partners (EIP), focuses on increasing funding to underrepresented founders working on solutions to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable and clean energy future. It will also make investments in companies that are led by underrepresented entrepreneurs, are empowering diverse talent, and/or are creating economic opportunity for distressed or disadvantaged communities. Elevate will also collaborate closely with Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, which invests in emerging climate technology companies.
  • Share Ventures, a Los Angeles-based venture fund and venture foundry focused on human performance. Share focuses on solving problems by creating and investing in innovative companies that unlock human potential, in categories including health tech, future of work, people tech, fintech, transportation, and purpose tech (companies facilitating impact and change).
  • Techstars Rising Stars Fund, a pre-seed venture capital fund investing in underrepresented founders of color in the U.S. The fund is part of the Techstars investment business that provides access to capital, one-on-one mentorship, and customized programming for early-stage entrepreneurs.

Investors from the VC funds supported by Amazon have supported hundreds of underrepresented startup founders. With Amazon’s investments, these VC funds expect to back hundreds more companies and, in turn, help create more jobs and unlock economic growth in historically underserved communities.