Founders First Capital Raises $100 Million To Invest In Underrepresented Entrepreneurs

By Amit Chowdhry ● November 22, 2019
  • Founders First Capital announced it has secured $100 million in debt funding from Community Investment Management to extend support for businesses led by underserved and underrepresented entrepreneurs

Founders First Capital Partners has secured $100 million in debt funding from Community Investment Management to expand its support for businesses led by underserved and underrepresented entrepreneurs. And through this partnership, Founders First will broaden support to include companies with $1 million to $5 million in annual revenue. The program is launching on January 13 in San Diego. And the program positions Founders First to be among the largest platforms in the country offering revenue-based financing for small businesses led by underrepresented founders.

Founders First combines an accelerator model along with a direct funding model that enables businesses to grow and scale. And the company primarily focuses on businesses led by people of color, women, and military veterans, and businesses located in low- to moderate-income areas less connected to the traditional funding networks of Silicon Valley and New York City. These businesses are typically constrained for bank financing given limited inventory or accounts receivable to pledge as collateral and may not have the level of potential scale that would attract venture capital funding.

“Founders First is very pleased to have secured such significant funding that allows us to expand our efforts to businesses that are led by underrepresented founders or those that serve underrepresented communities,” said Kim Folsom, co-founder and CEO of Founders First. “The procurement of this debt funding signifies to us that there is a clear opportunity and interest in offering revenue-based investment to support positive outcomes for service-based, social-impact companies. With this partnership, we look forward to advancing our mission of helping small businesses grow to the next level and extend their economic impacts to communities that can most benefit from job creation.”

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Another service Founders First offers is revenue-based financing, an innovative funding mechanism that generally requires entrepreneurs to pay a fixed percentage of revenue up to a predetermined cap. This solution offers small businesses with a highly attractive alternative that aligns with business performance, self-liquidates, and does not dilute ownership from business proprietors representing underserved backgrounds and communities.

“CIM is excited to partner with Founders First to expand revenue-based financing to support underserved and underrepresented small business founders, including people of color, women, LGBTQ, and military veterans as well as small businesses located in low to moderate-income areas. We have found revenue-based financing to be a compelling alternative to venture capital and fixed payment loans as a forward-looking and structurally flexible investment to support business growth. We believe that Founders First’s unique advisory and revenue-based investment platform enables underrepresented small businesses to overcome systematic bias and achieve their potential,” added CIM managing partner Jacob Haar.