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Marcelo Claure to Co-Lead and Co-Own Open Opportunity Fund in Partnership with Paul Judge

Claure Joins Agreement to Acquire Ownership Stake in Fund 1 from SoftBank Group

  • Marcelo Claure to become Vice Chairman and General Partner alongside Dr. Paul Judge as Chairman and Managing Partner
  • Claure joins Judge and affiliated entities in previously announced agreement to acquire an ownership stake in the $100 million Fund 1 of the Opportunity Fund from SoftBank Group
  • Open Opportunity Fund is now raising Fund 2 to continue to back exceptional Black and Latino tech founders

NEW YORK, Dec. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Open Opportunity Fund, a venture capital fund dedicated to funding Black- and Latino-founded technology companies, is announcing two significant advancements within the fund.

Marcelo Claure, a technology entrepreneur and investor, is returning to the Open Opportunity Fund as Vice Chairman and General Partner. In June 2020, SoftBank Group (“SoftBank”) launched the SB Opportunity Fund to invest in underrepresented founders. Claure was a founding member of the fund while he was CEO of SoftBank Group International. In less than three years, SoftBank successfully incubated the Opportunity Fund and deployed the initial $100 million into 75 Black- and Latino-led companies. Two of SoftBank Group’s core growth funds—Vision Fund 2 and the Latin America Fund—separately invested nearly $600 million in Opportunity Fund portfolio companies, for a total of nearly $700 million invested across SoftBank’s funds.

In addition, Claure joins Open Opportunity Fund Chairman, Paul Judge, in the previously announced agreement to acquire an ownership stake in the $100 million Opportunity Fund 1 portfolio from SoftBank. SoftBank remains committed to building a community of diverse founders and continues to support the fund as an investor in Fund 2. Open Opportunity Fund aims to double in size, raising Fund 2 to a $200 million fund open to LPs and other investors.

Claure is the founder & CEO of Claure Group, a multi-billion-dollar global investment firm. He is also Chairman and Managing Partner at growth equity firm Bicycle Capital as well as Group Vice Chairman of SHEIN.

After building his first business, Brightstar, into the world’s largest global wireless distribution and services company, Claure became CEO of Sprint. He later became CEO of SoftBank Group International, where he oversaw strategy alongside SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, and launched SoftBank’s $8 billion Latin America Fund.

Claure’s return to Open Opportunity Fund is part of a personal mission, shared with Judge, to provide equal opportunity for Black and Latino entrepreneurs like themselves – entrepreneurs who struggle to get access to capital to grow their businesses.

“As a Latino and Hispanic entrepreneur who was successful in growing businesses, I still had to fight harder to get funding,” said Open Opportunity Fund Vice Chairman and General Partner Marcelo Claure. “Paul fought those same battles as a Black entrepreneur. Together through the Open Opportunity Fund, we are investing back into our communities, ensuring that Black and Latino innovators have the capital they need to grow profitable businesses. We are grateful to SoftBank for investing in Black- and Latino-led companies through the initial fund, and we appreciate their commitment to Fund 2 as we build on that legacy.”

“I’m excited to work alongside Marcelo again. It is a full-circle moment to have him back as a partner. Beyond our work as investors and advisors, I believe our position as an independently-owned fund led by a Black American and a Bolivian immigrant is a powerful statement that I hope will inspire future leaders,” said Open Opportunity Fund Chairman Paul Judge.

“As the founding LP and an investor in Fund 2, SoftBank remains committed to building a community of diverse founders,” said Brett Rochkind, Managing Partner of SoftBank Investment Advisers. We believe that under Marcelo and Paul’s leadership, the Open Opportunity Fund is strongly positioned to enter its next chapter, and we look forward to our continued support of its important mission.”

Opportunity Fund 1 invested $100 million into 75 Black- and Latino-led tech companies, with a portfolio that includes Atomic, Brex, Career Karma, Cityblock Health, Eight Sleep, Esusu, Lendtable, Lumu, Mayvenn, Paystand, Praxis Labs, QuickNode, Squire, and Subject. The fund has had seven exits.

In 2022, Black and Latino founders received less than 3% of venture capital funding, despite comprising over 30% of the United States population. Research has consistently shown that diverse companies yield greater results, such as producing higher profits and exit multiples.

Open Opportunity Fund is now raising Fund 2 with the aim of continuing to deliver strong financial performance by backing Black and Latino tech founders. The fund is open to other corporations, institutions, qualified individuals, and other LPs who are committed to this cause.

For more information, visit http://TheOpportunityFund.com and follow @OpportunityFund on X (previously Twitter) and Instagram.

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About Open Opportunity Fund

Open Opportunity Fund is a technology venture capital fund focused on investing in and partnering with outstanding Black and Latino founders. Fund 1 was a $100 million fund with SoftBank as an LP. In 2023, the team led by Paul Judge and Marcelo Claure acquired the Fund from SoftBank and announced Fund 2 to continue to execute the thesis.

SOURCE Open Opportunity Fund

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/marcelo-claure-to-co-lead-and-co-own-open-opportunity-fund-in-partnership-with-paul-judge-302018746.html
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