June 2, 2021

Celebrity funds the new trend for Black Vcs

Celebrities are all the rage in the Black VC community, why?

If you haven’t noticed, we’re quietly witnessing a renaissance in Black capital. There’s an interest like never before in seeing Black VCs run their own funds. It seems the powers that be, from the Rockefeller Foundation to Goldman Sachs, have taken an interest in Black capital. 

But there are reports cropping up that many of the new VC funds are built on the backs of  the venture capitalists’ proximity to celebrities and influencers rather than on any sound investing thesis. 

The tipping point for Wall Street’s attitude towards the Black community is obvious, George Floyd changed everything, but finance’s obsession with celebrity founders/investors is another issue entirely. 

Perhaps they’re as mesmerized as we are by celebrity culture. Everybody has their own theory. 

Recently, I had a conversation with a venture capitalist who credited Rihanna with changing the perception of celebrities in the world of big business. 

Rihanna created three brands in conjunction with LVMH and in less than five years Savage X Fenty, her lingerie line, crossed the vaunted billion dollar valuation. 

But not every celebrity is Rihanna in terms of reach or cultural cache.  In a culture where celebrity is extremely fickle, is betting the future of Black capital on ex-NBA pros, musicians and influencers the right choice for the future?

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