Plexo Capital, a venture firm formed inside of GV (formerly known as Google Ventures), has raised more than $35 million (SEC filing) out of a planned $50 million. And Plexo Capital invests as an LP specializing in women- and minority-led emerging seed stage VCs and also invests directly into select companies sourced from the Plexo Capital VC Network.
Laurence (Lo) Toney is the founding manager of Plexo Capital and he incubated it while working at GV to increase access to early-stage deal flow. Prior to launching Plexo, Lo was a partner on the investing team at GV where he focused on marketplaces, mobile, and consumer products.
Photo Credit: Lo Toney via LinkedIn
Last year, Lo said he was planning to leave GV after raising the $50 million fund. The backers in this fund include Google Ventures, Intel Capital, Cisco Investments, and the Royal Bank of Canada, according to Moguldom. The fund attracted capital from 18 investors.
Plexo Capital made investments in two black-led companies including PlayVS’ $30.5 million Series B round and Blavity’s $6.5 million Series A round. PlayVS is an official high school esports league founded by Delane Parnell and Blavity is a community for black creativity and news founded by Aaron Samuels, Jeff Nelson, Jonathan Jackson, and Morgan DeBaun.
“Plexo is Portuguese for ‘intricate network,’ which is exactly what women and minority VCs tend to have. Their own inherent diversity makes their outlook broader and more open –– they tend to cast their net wide and have a wider lens to spot underserved opportunities that other VCs may particularly miss at the seed stage,” said Lo in a Q&A with Family Office Insights. “A common misperception is that women and minority VCs are only investing into women and minority entrepreneurs which is not true – they are investing into entrepreneurs of all types and are catching missed and underserved opportunities.”