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Kapor Capital co-founders Freada and Mitch Kapor are stepping back from the venture capital firm they launched over a decade ago. In a blog post announcing the news, the Kapor’s say that Uriridiakoghene “Ulili” Onovakpuri and Brian Dixon will be the new managing partners at the firm — which focuses on funding social impact ventures and founders of color.
“As a social impact investing firm with very specific criteria, Kapor Capital is excited to foster the next generation of our leadership,” the Kapor family said. “We’ve realized tremendous value from having varied perspectives, lived experiences and distance traveled in our partnership. That tradition will persist with Brian and Ulili.”
The shift has been in the works for at least a year, when TechCrunch learned that Kapor Capital was raising a $125 million fund — of which it has already closed $97.5 million per SEC filings. At the time, the fund signaled a change in how Kapor did business: it was the first investment vehicle funded by outsiders, not just Mitch and Freada Kapor, and it would be led by Dixon and Onovakpuri as co-managing partners.
Now that the fund has had a first close, it seems that Dixon and Onovakpuri are more formally stepping into their roles. Both investors have a long history of making venture capital more inclusive and accessible. Dixon, for example, was the first participant in Kapor Capital's summer associate program. The fintech and edtech investor then became one of the first and youngest African-American partners at any Silicon Valley venture capital firm, including Kapor Capital, the firm says. Onovakpuri, meanwhile, founded Kapor's Capital Fellows program and has worked at firms including Village Capital and Fresco Capital.
Both have spent the past year with the managing partner role on their resume, but with the Kapor's formally stepping back, the investors will have more discretion on where to take the firm and who to raise from.
Mitch and Freada Kapor say they will continue to support the 170 portfolio companies with help and capital. Last year, about 59% of founders at companies in Kapor Capital’s portfolio identified as a woman and/or an underrepresented person of color.
“We’re not retiring but are stepping back with full confidence in both Brian and Ulili and look forward to how they will continue to positively impact the venture capital ecosystem, finding the genius in those who are often overlooked,” the blog post reads. TechCrunch has reached out to Kapor Capital for further comment.