When Landry Nicks was seeking a new fund administrator for Kapor Capital’s third VC fund, his top priority was giving his investment team the ability to communicate deep, meaningful insights to Fund III’s limited partners. Kapor Capital was already using a software-enabled fund admin to manage its first two funds. But “there weren’t great insights or metrics” in the platform they were previously using, Landry said. “There wasn’t an easy-to-use layout. That was a big reason we wanted to move forward with Carta.”
Landry already knew from experience that Carta could offer both ease and insight for Kapor Capital’s GPs and LPs. As the investment accounting manager for the Kapor Family Trust, Kapor Foundation, and Kapor Capital, Landry had used Carta’s LP portal to manage investments on behalf of the organization’s founder, Mitchell Kapor.
Landry Nicks, Investment Accounting Manager
Insights, metrics, and the easy-to-use layout were a big reason we wanted to move forward with Carta.
Landry and his team are glad they made the switch to Carta. In particular, they appreciate the strong support that Carta provides along with its software platform. As a small firm, Kapor Capital depends on the decades of specialized accounting and industry expertise that Carta brings to its back office. “For any questions that we have,” Landry said, “we have specific contacts. Or we just email the support address. The responses have been quick and helpful.”
Carta’s sophisticated metrics are also crucial to Kapor Capital’s success. The firm’s GPs lean heavily on fund data and external expertise to make a case for their socially conscious investment thesis.
Kapor Capital and the Kapor Center
Kapor Capital is the venture capital arm of the Kapor family of organizations, which are united in their commitment “to remove barriers to STEM education and tech careers for underrepresented people of color.” Founded in 1999 by Silicon Valley entrepreneur, philanthropist, and thought leader Mitchell Kapor and his wife Freada Kapor Klein, the Kapor Center supports initiatives in K-12 computer science education, community engagement, and research on diversity and inclusion in STEM-related disciplines. Another Kapor organization, called SMASH, offers educational and career opportunities to underrepresented students of color. Each of the allied institutions is focused on fixing what they call “the leaky tech pipeline” that has contributed to racial disparities in the tech ecosystem.
The Kapor Capital Investment Thesis
The Kapor Center’s research suggests that the tech industry can better locate and support entrepreneurial talent from diverse backgrounds by supporting more fund managers from diverse backgrounds. They hypothesize that Black and Latinx Americans are underrepresented among tech founders in part because there are fewer managers of color to support them at the seed stage.
Kapor Capital was founded in 2015 as an opportunity to put these findings into action. The firm is led by two Black GPs, Brian Dixon and Ulili Onovakpuri; both have strong networks in the tech ecosystem. Brian and Ulili led investments for Kapor Capital’s first two funds. While these each had only one non-institutional LP, the partners are now raising $125 million for Fund III with the support of institutional LPs who observed the success of their research-backed approach to socially conscious investment.
Kapor Capital funds companies whose business objectives will help to fix the leaky tech pipeline by closing opportunity gaps. This often means supporting founders from diverse backgrounds, but the firm considers any businesses striving for a positive social impact. The funds are industry agnostic: Kapor Capital has backed companies in fintech, education, food, and healthcare, as well as technology-oriented startups.
The Carta fund administration team is proud to serve Kapor Capital as they lead the way toward a more equitable venture and tech ecosystem.