July 5, 2022

Ulu kicked off summer by announcing the promotion of two of our incredible investment team members to partner! We celebrated our LGBTQ+ colleagues, founders, friends, and  families during Pride Month. And Ulupreneurs raised more  than $185M during the month of June. Just imagine what the rest of the summer might bring!

Two Rockstars!

We are proud to announce the promotion to partner of Nancy Torres and Kathy Chen, two first-generation American women who have the investment experience, rigor, talent and empathy to take Ulu to the next generation. Three out of five of Ulu’s partners are diverse women. You can read more here.

 

 

We made four new investments, three remain in stealth.

Finalis is a broker-dealer platform that enables investment banks, placement agents, and fintech companies to engage in a range of alternative investment transactions as intermediaries while complying with regulatory requirements, thereby enabling them to receive deal commissions. Finalis is also a Fund II firm.Genesis Therapeutics is accelerating the development of critical new medicines with the industry’s most advanced molecular AI platform. Drugs developed through their process should have faster discovery and higher probability of clinical trial success.

Major news outlets continue to highlight Ulu portfolio companies for major accomplishments. Here are a few headliners.

Guild Education raised a $175M Series F round for a $4.4B valuation. Forbes interviewed CEO Rachel Romer Carlson about the massive round in the face of a threatened economic downturn. According to Pitchbook data, the funding round ranks as one of the top ten in the Edtech space for 2022.

Kogniz was featured in the Wall Street Journal and several other media outlets for their $10M round (led by Ulu) and their new gun detection software designed to promote safety in schools, workplaces and public buildings by identifying active shooters.

Suma Wealth CEO Beatriz Acevedo co-authored an Op-Ed in the Los Angeles Times that surfaces a little-noticed truth: many Latinos have suffered previous financial trauma and are often, as a result, very conservative financially. The article explains how that trauma may keep Latinos from investing.

 

Zum signed a $400M contract with the Los Angeles School District, the second largest school district in the United States, and was featured by Business Insider and several other media outlets. Zum provides parents, students, drivers and districts with safer, greener, more reliable and more equitable transportation services.

 

 

Miriam Rivera spoke at GCM Consortium in New York, at the GP Bootcamp session which showcased select diverse managers for information exchange and education. Miriam discussed her experiences starting and building Ulu Ventures, along with her insights and vision surrounding fundraising strategies, future areas of opportunity and the impact of established diverse managers investing in diverse businesses and communities.

Nancy Torres judged the Miami Magic pitch competition hosted by Inicio Ventures alongside partners from 2045 Ventures and Brainstorm Ventures. The event showcased the Latinx startup leaders incubating in “The Magic City” of Miami.

Miriam joined the Board of Trustees of Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind the iconic program Sesame Street and much more. Their mission is to build a community based on diversity, equity and inclusion by educating children to become smarter, kinder, human beings. Programs include social impact initiatives, research, classroom curricula and, of course, the beloved Sesame Street show and other entertainment. Joining this board is especially meaningful to Miriam because she credits it with playing a major role in developing her love of learning as a child. She’s excited to be a part of bringing that same feeling to children and families around the world today, as Sesame Street continues to champion achievement and access for children on a global basis.

Nancy Torres and Serena Rivera-Korver attended Illumen Capital’s Impact Experience in Montgomery, Alabama, a city with deep historical roots in the Atlantic slave trade and one of the birthplaces of the Civil Rights movement. Throughout the convening, the group addressed the question: How can we understand the role of asset management in the context of the nation’s history of racial terror and reconciliation?

 

 

We continue to explore the passions of Ulupreneurs in our ongoing Founder Stories series. You can read about our pioneering robotics founder, an Ulupreneur determined to replace B2B paper checks with blockchain technology,  and a female founder whose vision is nothing less than removing barriers to having children by expanding access to fertility services.

 

 

 

More Ulupreneurs in the News

Banyan Infrastructure

Grit Daily, and a number of other media outlets featured Banyan Infrastructure’s $8.2M Series A.

Everlaw

Venture Beat featured an article about Everlaw’s new AI clustering tool that can help the legal industry dig through data at scale.

Suma Wealth

Actual featured Suma Wealth CEO Beatriz Acevedo and Sofi’s Anthony Noto on the Top 50 Fintech Influencer List.

Tomo Credit

CBS News featured a quote from Tomo Credit CEO Kristy Kim in a piece about credit card debt getting more expensive and how consumers can pay off their cards.

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About the Author: Rusty Dornin

Rusty Dornin is the director of marketing and communications for Ulu Ventures. An award-winning radio and television journalist, she was a CNN correspondent for nearly 18 years covering domestic and world news ranging from war to natural disasters and tales of crime and politics