Adrian Mendoza had bigger plans for his venture capital (VC) company than just representing Latinx investors at the table.
Mendoza is the creator and general partner of Mendoza Ventures, a fund that supports BIPOC and women-led fintech, cybersecurity, and AI businesses.
Mendoza Venture, a Latinx and women-led venture capital firm, was established in Boston in 2016. Approximately 75% of the enterprises in the firm’s portfolio are startup run by women, BIPOCs, and immigrants. Mendoza Ventures is an active investment firm that focuses a considerable amount of time and energy on the success of the 12–15 companies in its portfolio at any given moment.
Mendoza told Lifewire, “We are active, early-stage investors that prioritize diversity when investing.” “Our own investment history has shown us that diversity outperforms, and we want to back those founders.”
Mendoza was born into a family of immigrant entrepreneurs and is originally from Los Angeles. After relocating to Boston in the late 1990s, he started his first business in 2008, at a time when the stock market was losing 400 points every day. He was employed at a startup that had recently laid off employees. The goal of Mendoza has always been to provide BIPOCs with chances for other BIPOCs.
Mendoza declared, “In the lack of any opportunity, I made my own.”
Mendoza recognized he didn’t encounter anyone who looked like him when he was leaving his previous startup in 2015. In order to make sure that more women and BIPOCs were funding innovators that looked like them, he and Senofer Mendoza, his wife and business partner, founded Mendoza Ventures at that time.
In two funds, the company has raised $10 million, and this year, it intends to close a third fund. Mendoza Ventures now employs six people, and with the closing of its upcoming fund, the company plans to add analysts and colleagues. The company also administers a fellowship program for BIPOC and female MBA students aspiring to enter the venture capital industry. Mendoza Ventures made its largest donation to a female-led cybersecurity startup, Wabbi, last year. Mendoza declared this to be among his greatest achievements.
“This was amazing, as it is rare to find female-founded cybersecurity startups,” he stated. “I was proud to have [Brittany Greenfield] be that founder but even prouder of the investors that believe in her and us to make her company a success.”
Within Boston’s venture capital environment, Mendoza has extensive experience. More than $5 million has been spent by his venture capital business in its portfolio companies, which he claims are ready for acquisition. However, as a Mexican-American investor, Mendoza has faced difficulties that other venture capital leaders do not encounter.
“Having raised venture capital and now raising capital for a VC fund from investors, I find that I am always raising money,” Mendoza stated. “If you are not from a wealthy network, this can be difficult. I’m honored to have the support of incredible individuals that not only believe in our mission but also want to contribute to change the world.”
Mendoza Ventures’ founder and general partner, Adrian Mendoza
A Mendoza Company
Mendoza claimed that when he was a founder, he didn’t see anyone who resembled him; this was especially true when he worked as a venture capitalist. He described the sobering revelation that, in his first five years of building Mendoza Ventures, his company was the only Latino-led venture capital business on the East Coast. Mendoza finds innovative solutions to get over challenges and demonstrates to his team his resiliency as he expands his venture capital business.
Our mascot, a plush dog, lightens the atmosphere and breaks the ice. We referred to him as our associate when we first started this because we lacked the funds to recruit anyone else, Mendoza added. “On our website, he is currently the senior associate. Each and every investor and CEO receives their own VC dog. Even on the voyage with its ups and downs, a little humor brightens the path.”
Mendoza is committed to increasing the proportion of BIPOC leaders in venture capital in the United States. Mendoza Ventures plans to raise its next fund and add staff members during the course of the upcoming year.