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A new venture fund focused on early-stage technology companies that are led by Black entrepreneurs has launched with an initial $6.4 million in funding.

Black Innovation Capital (BIC) and BDC Capital announced the launch of the Black Innovation Fund, which also includes RBC Ventures, Globalive Capital and TELUS Ventures as initial investors.

The fund, which aims to raise up to $10 million, will focus on investing in “Canadian pre-seed and seed stage technology companies founded by Black entrepreneurs,” the group said.

“This fund addresses two important gaps in the market: funding and role models. Working together, we can help Black-led start-ups scale and inspire future founders and investors,” said Jérôme Nycz, executive vice president of BDC Capital, in a release.

“Unconscious bias exists everywhere, including in investing,” said Lise Birikundavyi, principal and fund manager for BIC.

“People typically invest in individuals and concepts they are familiar with, not always based on their values, experience or a sound business case. Our hope is to help build successful black-led businesses, deliver returns to our investors, and increase the diversity in the venture capital ecosystem,” she said.