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For more equitable startup funding, the money behind the money needs to be accountable, too

As protests continue across the U.S. and beyond, there has been chatter this week in Silicon Valley and the venture industry more broadly about race and which venture firms have done a better job of diversifying their ranks and founder bets. There have been mea culpas, promises by firms to hold themselves more accountable, vows to listen and learn. SoftBank and Andreessen Horowitz have even announced new funds to invest in startups led by founders of color.
Its heartening to see, but these efforts will only go so far in leveling the playing field for people whove largely been left out of the trillions of dollars of economic value produced by the global startup ecosystem. Lets face it, the vast majority of VCs, like other business leaders, tend to forget about diversity when they arent being questioned about it.
In fairness, inertia is powerful. Its also the case that venture teams are more fragile than they might appear to outsiders, and because they involve long-term partnerships of highly competitive alphas, changing their composition isnt an overnight exercise. Still, the bigger obstacle is really perception: investors wont say so publicly, but many dont buy the argument that diversity generates returns. They need proof.
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