Aux21 is a seed-stage firm investing in the future of global commerce with a focus on companies led by immigrant founders. At the start of 2020, Chinedu Enekwe and Mark Fleming, based in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, launched the firm to build on their decades of experience in global markets. Chinedu and Mark share the stories of founders across the globe on their podcast Venture The World.
Before Aux21, Chinedu was a Principal with seed firm Exponential Creativity Ventures and managed AffinitiVC, an early-stage venture network. He spent the early years of his career in roles that gave him a range of perspectives on finance and global markets, including serving as a fund formation lawyer and asan emerging-market investment manager at Xcellon Capital, the World Bank, and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (formerly known as OPIC). Mark started his career in finance and venture in the U.S. and China; he spent several years at Alibaba.
Aux21 focuses on backing founders who are first- or second-generation immigrants who can compete locally and win globally in fintech and adjacent consumer technologies. More than half of unicorns had at least one immigrant founder. A 2018 study from the National Foundation for American Policy found that 50 of the 91 privately held U.S. tech companies with valuations of more than $1 billion, known as unicorns, had at least one immigrant founder.
Why we invested
We share the conviction the Aux21 team brings to accelerating global commerce and the impact of founders with immigrant backgrounds. We think that the firm’s unique approach to thinking about global industries and pathways growth positions them to invest in under-the-radar opportunities in fintech, ecommerce, and infrastructure. At Carta, we embrace constraints and believe constraints lead to ingenuity, resourcefulness, and creativity. Building a brand as a first-time fund manager is difficult. Aux21 demonstrates what is possible with their podcast and brand. We are excited to see where they go from here.