Dealflow | February 2, 2021

Arlan Hamilton opens Backstage Capital to retail investors

Amy Cortese
ImpactAlpha Editor

Amy Cortese

ImpactAlpha, Feb. 2 – Move over GameStop (and silver). More than a thousand retail investors piled into a venture capital firm backing people of color, women and LGBTQ+ founders.

Arlan Hamilton, who founded Backstage Capital in 2015, announced Monday morning that she would open the fund to retail investors via crowdfunding platform Republic. By evening, small investors had committed $750,000, in amounts as little as $100.

Republic investors receive membership units in the Backstage LLC, which entitles them to 10% of management fees and carried interest for the firm’s past and future funds. “When we have upside, you have upside,” Hamilton said in an interview.


Hamilton has made a name for herself investing in diverse founders that venture capitalists overlooked. Backstage has invested $12 million in more than 160 startups, the majority run by women or people of color. Many have raised follow-on funding from top-tier VCs.

The Backstage portfolio includes LendStreet, Solstice Energy Solutions, Blendoor, Akash Systems, Carrot Fertility and Edlyft.