SoftBank has unveiled its second fund under the Opportunity Growth Fund, aiming to raise and invest $150 million in startups led by Black and Latino entrepreneurs. The initiative has been rebranded as the “Open Opportunity Fund” (OOF), with Paul Judge appointed as the fund’s chairman. Judge, previously part of the investment committee, will become a co-owner of OOF alongside SoftBank and select affiliates.
Building upon the success of its initial effort, which invested $100 million in 75 Black and Latino-led companies including Greenwood, Career Karma, and Praxis Labs, the second fund aims to expand its impact. SoftBank intends to deploy the $150 million within three years, with the company itself serving as a limited partner in OOF.
The renaming of the fund reflects SoftBank’s goal of opening access for others to invest and foster greater scalability. Judge highlights the substantial gap in funding for Black and Latino founders, which remains tens of billions of dollars away from parity. The Open Opportunity Fund represents another step toward providing talented founders with increased opportunities.
SoftBank’s Opportunity Growth Fund was launched in 2020 by former COO Marcelo Claure, alongside Judge, managing partner Shu Nyatta, and TaskRabbit CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot. To date, it has witnessed seven exits and invested in five unicorns, including Cityblock Health and Brex.
This year, funding raised by Black founders accounted for just 1% of the $215.9 billion invested in U.S. startups, according to Crunchbase. Judge hopes that organizations that pledged support for minority founders in recent years will seize this opportunity to become limited partners and fulfill their commitments.
SoftBank confirms that its other funds, such as Vision Fund 2, will continue to make selective investments within the OOF portfolio. Currently, 61% of the fund’s portfolio consists of Black-owned companies, while 43% are Latino-founded. Additionally, 12% of the portfolio is comprised of women-founded companies, including non-Black and Latino women.
OOF plans to maintain its investment strategy across various stages, providing growth-stage startups led by founders of color with the necessary funding as they scale their businesses.
SoftBank expresses confidence in its ability to deliver, citing nearly $600 million invested by Vision Fund 2 and the Latin America Fund in OOF portfolio companies. Combined with the initial $100 million investment from Fund 1, SoftBank’s total investment in Black and Latino-led businesses amounts to $700 million, not including other diversity-focused initiatives.
Judge emphasizes that scaling this effort is about empowering founders to solve problems, creating positive impacts on multiple levels, building valuable companies, and generating returns for investors. The Open Opportunity Fund represents a significant step forward in supporting underrepresented entrepreneurs and fostering a more inclusive startup ecosystem.