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Harlem Capital Aims to Raise $150 Million Amid Changing Investment Climate


Harlem Capital, a venture capital firm founded in 2019 by Henri Pierre-Jacques and Jarrid Tingle, is looking to raise $150 million, surpassing its previous record of $134 million raised in 2021.

Initially angel investors in startups, real estate, and non-technology sectors, Pierre-Jacques and Tingle transitioned into venture capital focused on underserved entrepreneurs during their time at Harvard Business School.

According to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission reported by Tech Crunch, this funding round comes at a challenging time as there is a growing backlash against diversity and inclusion initiatives following the murder of George Floyd, which could impact investor interest.

Harlem Capital manages $174 million in assets and has invested in over 80 companies, including Propane.ai, fintech startup Poolit, and e-commerce platform e-Gander.

Pierre-Jacques highlighted to Forbes in 2021 the unique position of Harlem Capital at its founding, focusing on enterprises led by Black founders and other people of color—a rarity at the time.

The landscape, however, has evolved with several Black-owned venture capital firms now operating, such as Fearless Fund, which has faced criticism from conservatives.

Critics argue that its focus on Black and women-owned businesses is a form of reverse racism, echoing the arguments used against affirmative action, which was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2023.

In a January op-ed for IHRB, Sauli Tripathy pointed out the contradictions in the backlash against diversity policies, citing major scandals involving predominantly white male executives from elite backgrounds.

Tripathy argues these incidents show a pattern of unethical behavior not influenced by diversity, equity, and inclusion policies, yet there has been no call to bar such men from leadership positions, highlighting a perceived double standard in the criticism of diversity initiatives.


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