ImpactAlpha, Jan. 30 – The $10 million WE Venture fund was launched last March by the city’s economic development arm to co-invest in local women-led tech startups. The fund, thought to be a first for a city, invests alongside five women-led VC partners, including Archer Gray, Future/Perfect Ventures, WOCstar Fund and the Morgan Stanley Multicultural Innovation Lab. The city aims to mobilize up to $30 million for female founders over five years.
The fund’s first investment is Cosynd, a startup that simplifies the process of obtaining copyrights for creators such as musicians, songwriters and authors. Cosynd participated in the innovation lab, and snagged a $200,000 investment from Morgan Stanley. WE Ventures co-invested $125,000. Cosynd founder Jessica Sobhraj says the $1 million “super seed” round is about 65% complete.
WE Ventures is part of a broader initiative by New York City to support entrepreneurship among women, which it sees as a pathway to economic security for women and greater vitality for the city. The city also works with partners to provide loans, working capital and crowdfunding support for female entrepreneurs.
The WE Ventures team has already made valuable connections to other investors as well as to city agencies, Sobhraj said. “We really want to have partners and not just someone who writes a check.”