As 2023 draws to a close, I am thrilled to share with you the strides we’ve made this year at Pride Fund 1. Our journey has been marked by notable achievements, profound community impact, and unwavering commitment to our mission of empowering LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and startups. Despite the challenging economic landscape, the venture capital market has shown resilience in spaces with a focus on sustainable and diverse investments aligning with our mission at Pride Fund 1.
- According to Globenewswire, the global venture capital investment market was expected to grow from $207.74 billion in 2022 to $251.54 billion in 2023. However, according to Crunchbase, global funding in the first quarter of 2023 was $76 billion, a 53% decline from the first quarter of 2022.
- Fast Company noted, VC funding is set to have its worst year in a decade. The reality is the venture capital space is facing choppy waters for the first time.
- According to Kruze Consulting, the median valuation had fallen to $71 million by Q1 2023, halving in just a year. As of Q3 2023, there has been a modest recovery, bringing the median valuation to $90 million.
- The stock market is entering the end of 2023 with positive momentum. In early November, the S&P 500 had an eight-day winning streak and the broader market gained 20%. Technology and growth stocks have outperformed in 2023, and analysts expect S&P 500 earnings growth to rebound in 2024.
And while the markets are rebounding our portfolio companies have made strides all year. W*nder hasn’t stopped enhancing beverage choices. Revry continues to amplify LGBTQ+ voices in the media. In healthcare, OpticSurg has advanced technological solutions, CollegeCash tackles the financial challenges of education, and Casata has shown wonderful growth in real estate.
Each of these companies not only represents a sound investment but also embodies our commitment to fostering diversity and inclusiveness in the business world. Your support has been instrumental in this journey, and I look forward to our continued partnership in the coming year.
Key Highlights of 2023:
- World Logic Day Participation: We had the privilege of participating in the UN World Logic Day 2023. The event, held in Austin, Texas, included a panel featuring our team and was a testament to our dedication to using logic and thoughtful investment strategies to address pressing global challenges. Alicia Weigel, our partner and Human Rights Commissioner for Austin, was instrumental in orchestrating this significant event.
- Community Empowerment: Our commitment to community empowerment and leadership has never been stronger. T. Wolf Starr, Managing Partner at Pride Fund 1, has been pivotal in reinforcing our ethos of accessibility and inclusivity in venture capital. We’ve continued to foster partnerships with influential organizations, bolstering our network and impact within the LGBTQ+ community.
- Densil Porteous at Black Tech Week: A highlight of this year was my participation in Black Tech Week. This event was a vibrant convergence of tech entrepreneurs, investors, and professionals. My engagement there underscores our commitment to fostering diverse perspectives and inclusive innovation within the tech and venture capital spaces.
- Portfolio Progress: Our portfolio companies have shown incredible innovation throughout the year. We are proud of their achievements and the positive impact they continue to make in their respective industries. You can see some of the highlights of their year here https://pride.vc/words-of-pride/.
- Looking Ahead: As we move into 2024, our focus remains steadfast on identifying and supporting ventures that not only promise financial returns but also contribute positively to the LGBTQ+ community. We are excited about the potential of upcoming investments and partnerships that align with our vision of a more inclusive and equitable business world.
Your support and belief in our mission have been instrumental to our success. We are deeply grateful for your trust and commitment as we continue to break barriers and create meaningful change. Here’s to another year of growth, impact, and pride!
Densil R. Porteous, CEO
Pride Fund VC/Pride Fund 1