Tech Giant Luke Cooper Starts VC Firm Supporting Black Business
Serial entrepreneur and mergers and acquisitions lawyer Luke Cooper knows a few things about starting a business, so he decided the spread his knowledge to fellow business owners.
With his new venture capital firm, Latimer Ventures, Cooper is investing in enterprise SaaS startups founded by Black entrepreneurs, Forbesreports.
Started in 2022 and named after African American inventor, Lewis Latimer, Latimer Ventures provides early-stage, post-seed investments in enterprise tech startups. Cooper notices the higher success rate of Black founders over non-Black founders and he wants to bring out the potential of small-owned businesses and to address the lack of capital provided to entrepreneurs of color.
“Within the enterprise technology, Black founders are over-performing—1 in 3 is getting Series A funding vs. 1 in 15 overall,” Cooper said.
He calls Series A “a gold badge for a founder” and knows it looks good to investors. “Investing in these companies is not only the right thing to do, but it’s also profitable,” Cooper said.
The Baltimore-based business owner has started more than one profitable business. In 2006, Cooper and his co-founders started the cybersecurity software business, Caldwell Technology Solutions. Overseeing the strategic partnerships, business development, and mergers & acquisitions, the company was sold for close to $55 million. A few years later, after dropping his phone on a bus, he started Fixt, a SaaS-based mobile device repair app that was bought by Assurant in 2020.
Cashing in on his decisions, he took some time to start his own firm, which is already starting off in the green. He raised $50 million for his fundraising goal in November 2022, according to NNN. He received $20 million in funds with plans of making investments between $1 million and $4 million. To date, he has invested $2 million in four companies— Pienso, AI Squared, Meter Feeder, and CyDeploy.
Knowing the challenges that Black founders face, Cooper is determined to make a difference and provide capital and support to underserved communities.