In brief: Wilshire Lane raises $40m for diverse start-ups

The new venture capital firm is targeting $125m to invest in promising proptech start-ups.

A new venture capital firm is placing diverse start-ups at the centre of its investment strategy.

Adam Demuyakor, founder of Wilshire Lane Capital, whose parents immigrated to the US from Ghana, has raised $40 million for his firm’s debut fund, which is targeting a booming corner of the venture capital market focused on real estate technology. The fund is targeting $125 million to invest early-stage capital in promising proptech start-ups.

More than 80 percent of Wilshire’s portfolio so far is comprised of companies with at least one founding member representing women or people from diverse backgrounds, according to a statement. The fundraise has drawn commitments from investors including real estate powerhouse Morgan Properties, JPMorgan Asset Management, Schusterman Family Investments and Asland Capital Partners.

Venture capital markets have lagged behind broader private markets initiatives to incorporate ESG investing practices, especially when it comes to diversity. Only five of the top 50 largest venture capital funds have mentioned ESG or have committed to sustainability.