SoftBank commits $100 million to invest in companies led by black Americans and people of color: ‘We need to do better’

As protests against racism and police brutality stretch into their second week across the United States, SoftBank Group’s chief operating officer, Marcelo Claure, sent an email to staff Wednesday announcing a new commitment to diversity initiatives.

TaskRabbit CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot is one of the fund’s founding members. Reuters/Stephen Lam

Specifically, SoftBank will launch a $100 million “Opportunity Growth Fund” overseen by black leaders in tech that will exclusively fund businesses led by black Americans and people of color, according to the memo.

“When it comes to diversity, SoftBank absolutely has to do better as an employer, investor, and partner. But we can’t just talk — we have to put money behind it, set plans, and hold ourselves accountable,” Claure wrote. “This fund will only invest in companies led by founders and entrepreneurs of color.”

The fund will be overseen by Claure, along with two founding members who are black leaders in tech: TaskRabbit CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot and Pindrop cofounder Paul Judge.

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