A VC Fund Backed By Kevin Durant And Diddy Will Donate Its Profits To 11 Charities

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Written by Ann Brown
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A VC fund backed by sports star Kevin Durant and music mogul Diddy will donate its profits to 11 charities that are working to increase diversity in tech. Sean Combs attends the Fox Networks Group 2018 programming presentation after party at Wollman Rink in Central Park on Monday, May 14, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

A VC fund backed by sports star Kevin Durant and music mogul Diddy has announced it will donate its profits to 11 charities that are working to increase diversity in tech.

The Cultural Leadership Fund was launched by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz in 2018, and since then Black notables from Shonda Rhimes to Kevin Durant to Quincy Jones have pooled nearly $18 million to invest in the fund. 

“In the year since it launched, the fund has cut 39 checks to startups including Overtime, a sports media network, and Propel, which helps people manage their food stamps. Some of its backers have gone a step further and added personal investments, like when Will Smith backed Hipcamp, which helps landowners rent out campsites Airbnb-style,” Forbes reported.

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“If you believe that the next generation of wealth is happening within the technology sector, African Americans need to have our place in that as well,” Andreessen Horowitz partner Chris Lyons told Forbes. “So the Culture Leadership Fund is putting a number of [backers] across all different worlds onto the cap tables of some of the world’s most competitive companies.”   

“Even though we’re making money, we’re giving it all away because we feel like it’s important to really empower and build up this ecosystem,” Lyons said.

The fund has just announced it had selected the 11 organizations it plans to donate its management fees and future carry to, Among the organizations are The Last Mile, which teaches the incarcerated how to code, Management Leadership for Tomorrow, which helps develop Black, Latinx, and Native American leaders.

“By working with these nonprofits, we’re now creating a network that we can introduce talent of diverse backgrounds to our portfolio companies,” Lyons says. “Through these organizations that we’re going to be working with, we’re creating a new pipeline opportunity.”

All Star Code was another of the groups selected. “I’m pinching myself that this VC fund is actually funding us,” said Christina Lewis, the founder of All Star Code, which runs a summer intensive program to teach young men of color how to code. 

“I’m excited to be included with such an esteemed group of individuals who are focused on creating access for young African Americans in technology,” Sean “Diddy” Combs said in an email to Forbes. “I am also grateful because this partnership will be helping the next generation of leaders from my hometown of Harlem.”

Ann Brown
Image Attribution: A VC fund backed by sports star Kevin Durant and music mogul Diddy will donate its profits to 11 charities that are working to increase diversity in tech. Collage by Autumn Keiko Sean Combs attends the Fox Networks Group 2018 programming presentation after party at Wollman Rink in Central Park on Monday, May 14, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, in Denver. The Warriors won 142-111. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) , A VC fund backed by sports star Kevin Durant and music mogul Diddy will donate its profits to 11 charities that are working to increase diversity in tech. Collage by Autumn Keiko Sean Combs attends the Fox Networks Group 2018 programming presentation after party at Wollman Rink in Central Park on Monday, May 14, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, in Denver. The Warriors won 142-111. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)