SoftBank sells Open Opportunity Fund to Black and Latino executives
SoftBank is selling its Open Opportunity Fund to its chairman and managing partner, Paul Judge, and Marcelo Claure, who is being appointed the fund’s vice chairman and general partner.
Judge and Claure will fully own the firm’s $100 million Open Opportunity Fund 1, the $150 million Fund 2, as well as the entire portfolio. Fund 2, launched earlier this year, will also increase its target to $200 million.
Claure called the acquisition a “significant milestone,” saying it “demonstrates a concrete move towards more diverse representation within all layers of the venture capital ecosystem.”
SoftBank rebranded its Opportunity Growth Fund to Open Opportunity Fund (OOF) earlier this year, and appointed Judge as its chairman, who became co-owner of the Fund. Claure, who initially launched OOF, previously served as SoftBank’s COO until 2022 and is returning to work with the fund around a year after he stepped away.
Judge said Claure is still very active in the venture ecosystem, and has remained a member of the fund’s investment committee. “Marcelo brings a wealth of experience and a vast network that can help our portfolio companies. Marcelo’s extensive network of Latino entrepreneurs significantly enriches our deal flow within this vibrant community,” Judge said.
Fund 1 deployed $100 million in 75 Black and Latino companies, yielding seven exits and 46 follow-on rounds. SoftBank will be an LP in Fund 2, and Claure said the fund is looking for investors seeking to drive more diversity in the tech ecosystem, and who “value the importance of supporting underrepresented entrepreneurs.”
Fund 2 will invest in 50 pre-seed- to growth-stage companies in fintech, health tech, edtech, sales and marketing, and enterprise IT. Fund 1 companies may also receive funding from Fund 2 on a “case-by-case basis,” Judge said.
“We believe the Black and Latino founder market is an untapped source of outsized returns and this focus allows us to find alpha that other VCs have overlooked,” Judge said. “The strong performance of Fund I proves that thesis works.”
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