The 22 Fund (The 22), a Los Angeles-based impact, early-growth venture fund, today announced multi-million dollar investments from Ally Financial Inc. (Ally) and family office 4S Bay to support The 22’s mission to address needs of diverse entrepreneurs often overlooked by traditional investors. Ally committed up to $10 million in equity investment. 4S Bay committed $1.5 million.
“Helping create pathways for underrepresented communities is one way Ally lives its purpose to do it right and drive equity and economic mobility in communities we serve,” said Jan Bergeson, Ally’s Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Officer. “Diverse entrepreneurs and fund managers in manufacturing are often overlooked by traditional investors and our investment in The 22 Fund intentionally addresses a rapidly growing need for funding that will lead to more jobs for more Americans.”
The 22 invests in US-based, clean tech, innovative manufacturing companies that have the potential for fast growth and high profitability through an export driven focus. The strategy offers portfolio diversification to investors looking for real impact without financial concessions. The 22 invests with a holistic lens – racial, gender, climate and economic development – while generating above market returns through investing in high potential female and Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) business leaders who have traditionally received little access to equity capital. Despite the systemic lack of capital, these business leaders and their diverse teams produce greater returns and higher exit valuations. To date, The 22 has made four investments. Each company is either woman-, BIPOC- and/or LGBTQ-owned.
“We found that as first-time, diverse fund managers, the Small Business Investment Corporations (SBICs) process comes with extreme cost and legal burdens that make it unobtainable. The 22 sees the great potential of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) funds to address the inequities in venture capital (VC),” stated Tracy D. Gray, Founder and Managing Partner of The 22. “For over twenty years, VC has been stuck at less than 5% of women and 1% of people of color being VCs.”
Under the CRA, banks are encouraged to make investments in low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities and often include investments in affordable housing and private equity funds designated as SBICs by the Small Business Administration. However, barriers to entry in the SBIC program are substantial and have historically left out first time, diverse fund managers. The 22 meets CRA qualifications by supporting job creation, retention and/or improvement for LMI people or areas, as well as providing capital to recently formed or startup small businesses.
4S Bay, a single-family office combatting racism, bias and inequities in society, also joins a growing roster of limited partners who support The 22’s holistic mission.
“The 22 Fund’s focus on investing in export-oriented businesses creating wealth and manufacturing jobs in BIPOC communities is perfectly aligned with the 4S Bay’s mission,” said Rashid Malik, Chief Investment Officer of 4S Bay.
About The 22 Fund
The 22 Fund is a holistic impact investor that funds tech-based, US manufacturing companies to increase international sales (exports) and create the clean, quality jobs of the future in underserved and low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities. The 22 intentionally invests in women- and BIPOC-led firms to deliver both high ROI and high social/economic impact without concession or trade-offs. For more information, visit www.the22fund.com.
About 4S Bay Partners LLC
4S Bay Partners LLC is a single-family office that strives to eliminate prejudice and the inequities of our society. We partner with community to create economic opportunities and amplify storytelling of, for, and about marginalized communities. We achieve our mission by deploying creative private capital investments. https://4sbay.com/
About Ally Financial
Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE: ALLY) is a financial services company with the nation’s largest all-digital bank and an industry-leading auto financing business, driven by a mission to “Do It Right” and be a relentless ally for customers and communities. The company serves more than 10.5 million customers through a full range of online banking services (including deposits, mortgage, point-of-sale personal lending, and credit card products) and securities brokerage and investment advisory services. The company also includes a robust corporate finance business that offers capital for equity sponsors and middle-market companies, as well as auto financing and insurance offerings through more than 22,000 dealers nationwide. For more information, please visit www.ally.com