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Aspect Ventures raises $181 million for second fund

Melinda Gates and Cisco Systems are investors in the new fund, which is backing women- and minority run businesses but doesn’t call itself an impact investor.

Founders Theresia Gouw and Jennifer Fonstad, who launched the firm in 2014, are trying to fight the underrepresentation of women, minorities and other groups in businesses and boardrooms by investing in companies with diverse leadership and staff.

Women and minority-run businesses comprise 40% and 30% of Aspect’s portfolio, respectively. Aspect invests in companies that have raised seed-stage funding but often struggle to find the growth capital they need.

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