The 22 Fund, a Los Angeles-based early stage growth equity fund, announced that Bank of America and Roy and Patricia Disney Family Foundation (RPDFF) have committed to The 22 Fund I, LP (The 22). The 22, created in 2018 to be a $100 million vehicle making equity, debt and revenue share investments, provides capital into promising technology-based, export-oriented manufacturing firms led by women and Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs that are often left out of tech capital opportunities.
The 22’s mission is to help create high-wage jobs and economic prosperity to low-and moderate-income communities through its strategic investments into growing BIPOC-founded companies. Named after the 22 Pobladores, the men and women of color who founded Los Angeles, The 22 Fund honors these founders for their diversity, tenacity, ingenuity, and productivity. Its focus on U.S. high-tech manufacturing companies that have the potential for fast growth and high profitability through international sales (exports) is a first of its kind strategy that offers portfolio diversification to investors looking for real impact without concessions within the high-performing private equity asset class.
“The 22’s interests are aligned with our investors—commercially, environmentally, socially and ethically. Our investors understand and appreciate the new, holistic models in venture capital and private equity that can address the important issues of this decisive decade,” states Tracy Gray, Founder and Managing Partner of The 22 Fund. “The 22 knows we need a sense of urgency to address these issues. We are pioneers in realizing the opportunities of investing in diverse leaders in clean, high-growth domestic manufacturing to create jobs in the USA.”
“Bank of America’s equity investment into The 22 Fund underscores our ongoing efforts to address the persistent gap in access to growth capital for women- and minority-led businesses. Being based in Los Angeles, one of the most ethnically-and industry-diverse markets in the world, The 22 Fund is well positioned to help more minority entrepreneurs scale their business ideas, which will ultimately create more jobs and economic opportunities across Southern California and the country,” said Raul A. Anaya, head of Bank of America Business Banking and president for Greater Los Angeles.
“The status quo will not move the needle and decisive action is needed to address long standing systemic inequalities. The 22 Fund’s focus and mission brings an attractive element to our portfolio to solve some of the serious problems the country is facing,” said Shawn Escoffery, CEO of Roy and Patricia Disney Family Foundation.
The 22 Fund is making domestic manufacturing an attractive investment sector again. For several decades, U.S. companies have been outsourcing manufacturing jobs due to cheap labor overseas. However, underlying systemic changes in global business and trade, consumer demand, supply chain shortages and improvements in processes, materials and technologies make cheap labor no longer a key factor in the cost competitiveness of a company.