Intel Capital is establishing a new $125 million Diversity Fund designed to bankroll technology startups led by women and underrepresented minorities.
Intel says the fund is the largest of its kind.
“We believe a diverse and inclusive workplace is fundamental to delivering business results,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich in a press release. “Our goal with this new fund is to meaningfully support a technology startup workforce more reflective of society, and ultimately to benefit Intel and the broader economy through its success.”
Intel is not the only one looking to support diversity in tech, a hot-button issue that has sparked plenty of discussion in recent months.
At an industry event last month, Seattle entrepreneur and GeekWire chairman Jonathan Sposato said that he’d only make angel investments in companies that had at least one female founder. Comcast Ventures has a $20 million fund focused on minority entrepreneurs, while AOL last fall launched a fund focused on women entrepreneurs.
Intel’s new Diversity Fund comes after the company launched a $300 million Diversity in Technology initiative at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
The new fund will be led by Lisa Lambert, managing director and vice president of Intel Capital. “With this new fund, Intel Capital is committed to investing in the best talent from a myriad of backgrounds to cultivate innovations that serve the needs of a diverse public,” she said.
According to a Babson College report, only 15 percent of venture capital-funded companies in the United States have a woman on the executive team. Meanwhile, companies with a woman CEO receive only three percent of venture capital dollars.
A separate report by CB Insights finds that less than 1 percent of the founders of Silicon Valley companies are African American or Latino.
Companies that have already received backing from Intel are Brit + Co of San Francisco; CareCloud of Miami; Mark One of San Francisco; and Venafi of Salt Lake City.