Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam has teamed with entrepreneur Arian Simone to launch a $5 million venture capital fund to support startups created by women of color.
The Fearless Fund invests in women of color-led businesses seeking pre-seed, seed level, or series A funding. Since its recent initiation, the Fearless Fund has hosted pitch competitions at Facebook Headquarters and Spanx Headquarters.
“The Fearless fund is designed to change the narrative as it relates to funding allocated to women of color,” says Simone. “We wanted to start small, that was with intention. We want to prove great returns for our investors,” Simone said in a statement. “I started as an entrepreneur in college, raising funds for my retail store. I was only 21 but I promised myself that, one day, Arian, you’re going to be that investor you’re looking for.”
The Fearless Fund will have a mentor program and aims to connect companies with celebrities for influencer marketing campaigns.
Pulliam and Simone will be investing $15 million to support startups created and founded by women of color.
The former “Cosby Show” star wrote on Instagram: “We’ve been busy!! Only 2% of Venture Capital Investors are African American & less than 1% are women. We decided to be a part of the solution by investing in our community!! I am so excited to announce that @Ariansimone & I have started The Fearless Fund… A fund for us by us!! Our mission is to bridge the gap in venture capital funding for women of color founders building scalable, growth aggressive companies. Follow our journey @fearless.fund.”
The fund has seen support from advisers including actress/producer Marsai Martin, and OBGYN and “Married to Medicine” star Dr. Jacqueline Waters.