According to Venture Forward’s latest VC Human Capital Survey, Black investors represented just 3% of VC partners in 2020. The survey also found that newer firms (i.e., those founded within the past ten years) had a higher representation of Black partners. In recent years, we’ve seen several talented Black investors launching their own funds and making a big impact.
This month, we’re showcasing five up-and-coming Black emerging managers to amplify their incredible work. Combined, they manage $120M+ in VC assets.
Chandra Roxanne is the Managing Director at Astia Edge, Astia’s newest fund, which will invest in high-performing, seed-stage companies led by Black women and Latina CEOs. I sat down with her to learn more about her investment thesis and passions. Fun fact—Chandra is a VC University scholarship alum (Cohort 8) and a past participant in our LP Office Hours program!
Sarah: Why did you want to become a VC?
Chandra: My interest in venture began right around the time the book Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa by Baroness Dambisa Moyo was released. Because pre-Seed, Seed, and Series A venture investors work at the early stages of a startup, I’m fascinated with the idea of leveraging venture finance to create a conscious form of capitalism by incubating the principles of consciousness from formation to scale. More specifically, though, my specialty lies in how we can foster full economic inclusion of women in the economy and how venture can help to generate their full participation in (and influence on) different markets.
Sarah: What’s your favorite career accomplishment to date?
Chandra: Creating a fund for Black women and Latinas that centers around their voices and their needs while balancing LPs’ desire for great returns. Latinas and Black women remain unseen as they are often excluded from investment conversations, including those focused on women, so I was eager to help level the investment playing field by taking Astia Edge to the next level.
I also really value the relationships I’ve made at Astia as well as with entrepreneurs and emerging managers within the broader ecosystem. I am both shocked and thankful at how quickly my network has expanded, and I’m always meeting interesting people doing innovative work.
Sarah: What are you excited about for the future of venture and startups?
Chandra: I’m very excited about how women will continue to shape our economy: which markets will spring up that we didn’t know we needed, which will cease to exist, and which will be restructured. My passion lies in ensuring that women are not just economic drivers as consumers, but that they are economic architects themselves. We have the right to help shape the direction of the economy in which we are living, moving, and building our families.
One entrepreneur in particular that’s doing incredible work is Tanya Van Court. Tanya is the founder and CEO of Goalsetter, a startup that helps kids and their families save money. We talk about financial inclusion, building generational wealth, and closing the racial wealth gap, but Tanya is taking the next step to ensure we accomplish this goal by building a B2B2C platform to achieve this at scale. I love seeing a company that is helping our children develop the mindset and behavior for generating wealth by leveraging and partnering with established financial institutions in a way that benefits both and makes it a compelling investment opportunity.
If you’d like to learn more about Chandra, check her out on LinkedIn! And be sure to stay tuned for the next spotlight, publishing next week.
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