The Harlem Capital Effect: A Glimpse at HCP’s 5 Years of Impact

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By HCP Principal Nicole DeTommaso & Fellow Sophia Escagedo

Harlem Capital (HCP) is on a mission to invest in 1,000 diverse founders over 20 years. Since 2018, we have raised 2 funds and made 60 investments – we are just getting started in changing the face of entrepreneurship. As we continue to set goals as a firm, we wanted to take stock of how these investments and us as investors have impacted the VC landscape and our communities.

To assess our impact, we looked at our firm from three lenses: 

1. Sourcing & Capital Impact – The impact our firm has had on the VC ecosystem through our sourcing and capital deployed

2. Portfolio Impact – The impact from the investments in our portfolio companies

3. Intern Program Impact – The impact from the HCP intern program 

Our analysis has overwhelmingly revealed that Harlem Capital is both a market maker and mover in the diversity investing ecosystem and that diverse founders find Harlem Capital to be a leading firm they want to partner with.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Sourcing & Capital Impact

  • HCP saw 50%+ of all Black & Latino seed deal volume ($) in 2022 and 2023
  • 3% of all Black & Latino seed capital raised was HCP checks and 6% were HCP-led syndicates
  • ~15% of all Black seed deal volume ($) was HCP-led syndicates

Portfolio Impact

  • 384+ jobs created by HCP’s portfolio companies, 36% identify as people of color (POC) and 35% as women
  • 114 total management positions created, 44% held by POC and 36% held by women

Intern Program Impact

  • 39% of intern alums have held full-time VC positions
  • 9% of all Black & Latino investors in the ecosystem are HCP intern alums
  • 2% of all Black & Latino checkwriters in VC are HCP intern alums
  • 2 of the 60 investments HCP has made were sourced by interns
  • 3+ of the 60 HCP investments have had intern alums as co-investors
  • 1 intern alum is an HCP LP

SOURCING & CAPITAL IMPACT

As the number of Black and Latino founders continues to expand in the US, we are determined to reach and champion as many as we can. In 2022 and 2023, our team sourced over 50% of all Black and Latino seed deal volume, totaling $629M, meaning we are seeing the majority of deals occurring at our stage. It is clear from these metrics that HCP is a notable firm that many Black and Latino founders seek to work with.

Of all checks written to Black and Latino founders in 2022 and 2023, ~3% were direct checks written by HCP and 6% were HCP-led syndicates. The impact is even greater for those years when looking at our syndicates formed for deals we led. Notably, we formed nearly 15% of all Black seed deal volume ($) via our syndicates. The next Black and/or Latino unicorn founder is within the HCP network.

PORTFOLIO IMPACT

In February 2024, we surveyed our portfolio companies to better understand how they think about workplace diversity and their respective workforces. 

Our founders have created 384+ full time jobs within their companies with 36% of those jobs held by people of color (POC) and 35% held by women. There are 114 total management positions held within their organizations with 44% of them held by POC and 36% of them held by women. While not all pre-seed and seed stage companies have Board of Directors (BoD), our portfolio companies that do have Boards have remained committed to their communities with 32 BoD positions held by POC and 22 held by women.

INTERN PROGRAM IMPACT

Over 6 years we have received 13.9k applications for our intern program.  Of those applicants, 111 interns have worked with our team throughout 19 cohorts. Of the 111 intern alums, 74% are Black and Latino and 54% are women.

These intern alumni have gone on to make their own impact. Our program has helped 39% of intern alums break into full time VC positions. Impressively, 9% of all Black and Latino investors in the ecosystem are HCP intern alums. And it gets even better – 2% of all Black and Latino checkwriters today are HCP intern alums

Our network continues to grow through our interns, expanding our reach and creating opportunities to co-invest alongside them. In fact, 2 of the 60 investments HCP has made were sourced by interns and 3+ of the 60 HCP investments have had intern alums as co-investors. These amazing insights inspire us and validate our large investment in our intern program, which aims to expose and provide opportunities for diverse individuals in VC. 

We have also started to see our intern alums take their knowledge of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and become founders themselves. As of today, 4% of our intern alumni have gone on to found companies. At the beginning of 2024, we made our first investment in an HCP intern alum founder, a huge milestone for our mission. 

A FUTURE READY FOR IMPACT

These insights are a result of our dedicated mission and strategy, but our impact goes beyond these three pillars. We continue to build communities through 2.6k+ HCP event attendees and 600k+ social media followers while providing transparency to entrepreneurs and investors with 148 published blogs and reports.

Our work is just scratching the surface. As we continue to deploy capital, meet founders, and bring on intern cohorts, our reach will further champion Black and Latino founders, investors, and communities. At Harlem Capital, we are building and nourishing the diversity ecosystem and deeply believe that the next Black and Latino unicorn founders are right in our circles.

For more info on HCP’s impact sign up for our newsletter, follow us on LinkedIn, X, and Instagram, or email info@harlem.capital

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