Plexo Capital, Founded By Former GV Partner Lo Toney, Closes $42.5M Fund
San Francisco-based Plexo Capital, founded by former Google Ventures partner Lo Toney, has closed a $42.5 million debut fund to back early-stage venture capital funds and startups led by Black founders, women and people of color.
Toney incubated Plexo in 2017 while at GV as part of GV’s strategy “to foster diversity in venture capital,” Crunchbase News reported. GV spun out Plexo in March 2018.
Plexo investors include high-profile tech companies such as Google parent Alphabet, Kapor Capital, Intel Capital, Cisco Investments, Royal Bank of Canada, the Hampton University Endowment, and the Ford Foundation.
Up to 65 percent of the capital will be invested in venture capital funds (typically smaller than $100 million) that emphasize investments in companies led by either a woman or person of color, Toney told Crunchbase. The rest will go to companies that Plexo sources from those funds’ portfolios.
Plexo works with other VC firms to invest together in startups. For example, Los Angeles-based Blavity, a media company created by and for Black millennials, got money from both GV and Plexo.
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 24: Delane Parnell
Jamarlin talks to prodigy Delane Parnell, founder and CEO of high-school esports company PlayVS.
Plexo says that it is also open to investing “in any funds or companies that will provide a great return,” whether or not they are led by women or people of color, Crunchbase reported.
So far, Plexo has invested in 19 venture funds and 14 companies, including PlayVS, an L.A.-based company building an infrastructure for esports in high schools. It has backed funds and companies in Puerto Rico (ATO Ventures and iSono), Mexico City (Investo and Grin) and Lagos, Nigeria (Ingressive Capital).