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Illumen Capital partners with institutional investors to back the next generation of diverse-led venture and private equity managers.

We believe an inclusive and optimal asset management industry will be the cornerstone of an equitable future.

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 We are research-backed investors. 

Before we ever closed our first fund, we published research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) alongside Stanford SPARQ offering evidence that race influences the decision making of professional investors*.

Simply put, our research suggested that asset allocators have a systematic preference for high-performing White-led funds when compared to high-performing Black-led funds. Surprisingly, this bias increased at higher levels of performance for Black-led funds, which were rated more harshly using criteria such as skills, competence and social fit.*

Given these findings, investors may be completely missing out unknowingly on many high-quality investment opportunities.

*Race influences professional investors financial judgments; Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (2019)

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Racial and gender bias not only lead to inequitable outcomes, but we are convinced that bias inhibits optimal financial performance.

Overview

 We are thesis-driven investors. 

We have a basic thesis: racial and gender disparities in asset management are not only inequitable, but can lead to suboptimal performance.

We believe by reducing racial and gender bias in how investments are allocated, we can help drive capital to founders and entrepreneurs long overlooked and underestimated – and unlock stronger financial performance.

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Thesis & Strategy

Illumen Capital’s portfolio is…

9.5x venture benchmarks for inclusion of women partners 

(Women in VC: The Untapped Potential for Women-led Funds, 2020, Financial Alliance for Women)

6x venture benchmarks for inclusion of underrepresented partners of color

7x venture benchmarks for inclusion of underrepresented women of color 

100% of Illumen Capital portfolio managers are led by people of color and/or women partners

(Illumen Capital data as of 12/31/2022)

Our differentiated strategy combines investment capital with evidence-based tools to help our fund managers actively reduce racial and gender bias.

We invest in venture, growth, and private equity funds, and then work closely with fund managers to implement and install IllumenIQ™, a web-based software providing educational training programs, strategies, and tools designed to reduce racial and gender bias in the hiring, investment, and company support processes. We select managers investing in one or more of the following themes:

EDUCATION

FINANCIAL
INCLUSION

CLIMATE & SUSTAINABILITY

HEALTH &
WELLNESS

INCLUSIVE

SYSTEMS

Research
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This research-informed bias reduction program supported by a strategic relationship with Stanford SPARQ – empowers fund managers to expand their investable landscape and better support entrepreneurs who have historically been overlooked and underestimated.

2022 Annual Impact Report Executive Summary

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 We are returns-focused investors. 

We at Illumen Capital are big believers in the “diversity dividend” – the growing body of evidence that suggests diverse teams outperform homogenous teams.

Illumen Capital is an institutional investor seeking to back high-performing managers with the potential for top-decile and top-quartile performance. By working closely with every manager in our portfolio to reduce racial and gender bias, we strive to help our managers unlock stronger returns.

Greater representation of Black, Indigenous and people of color in management is tied to higher cash flow, net profit, three- and five-year revenue, five-year return on equity (ROE) and stock performance.

Companies with more racial diversity experienced a 33 percent increase in likelihood of out-performance on operating margin.

Delivering Through Diversity McKinsey & Company (2018)

Gender diverse fund management teams deliver an incremental 10-20 percent in net IRR returns compared to non-gender diverse teams.

Team

We are a highly-diverse team with over 75 combined years of investment, operating, and impact management experience.

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We appreciate your interest in joining our team.

Currently, there are no available positions, but please check back for future opportunities.

 Join our team  

Careers
Contact

 Connect with us 

Racial equity and gender justice are at the core of our work, and we invite those with diverse perspectives and lived experiences to reach out.

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