KingsCrowd Announces Strategic Partnership With Backstage Capital

KingsCrowd, the online private market’s first and only data-driven ratings and analytics platform, has reached a strategic partnership with Backstage Capital, a venture capital fund focused on underrepresented founders. Together, KingsCrowd and Backstage Capital plan to educate a new generation of startup investors.

This partnership perfectly aligns KingsCrowd’s goal to empower all investors to make informed, data-driven startup investment decisions and Backstage’s goal to invest in startups founded by women, people of color, and/or LGBTQ+ individuals.

By combining forces, KingsCrowd and Backstage Capital hope to bring more underrepresented investors into the startup space, show them how to become sophisticated angel investors, and drive even more capital to underrepresented founders.

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Historically, less than 10% of all venture capital funding has gone to underrepresented founders. According to Crunchbase, in 2020 Black and Latino founders only received 2.6% of all venture capital funding. Female founders received even less, with just 2.3% of venture capital dollars going to them.

The online private markets, which allows anyone to directly invest in startups, tend to be more democratic than the venture capital ecosystem. Because investors in the online private markets don’t have some of the same habits and biases held by many venture capitalists, they’ve done a better job of driving capital to underrepresented founders. Since KingsCrowd began tracking founder demographics, an amazing 50% of funded raises have had underrepresented founders. But much work remains in bringing underrepresented investors into the ecosystem.

As part of this strategic partnership, KingsCrowd will collaborate with Backstage Capital to educate a new generation of startup investors through coursework and better access to the KingsCrowd suite of startup research and due diligence tools. Additionally, Backstage founder and managing partner Arlan Hamilton and her team will provide strategic guidance to KingsCrowd as well as host co-branded events to broaden the reach of both organizations. Future collaborations focused on educational resources and promising investment opportunities are also planned.

Backstage Capital is a premier venture capital firm. It has already invested in nearly 200 startups founded by underrepresented teams to date, and those companies have gone on to raise hundreds of millions in investments.

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Backstage Capital has also been a major proponent of retail investors gaining access to the startup ecosystem through the new online private markets as well as the need to educate a new generation of startup investors. That’s why Backstage founder Arlan Hamilton turned to the online private markets earlier this year to raise capital. Backstage raised $5 million in investments from nearly 7,000 individuals on Republic in March 2021.

KingsCrowd founder and CEO Chris Lustrino stated, “Arlan Hamilton is probably the most important figure of our time in the startup ecosystem. Her accomplishments more than speak for themselves, and she is a continuous champion and advocate of empowering a new age of alternative investing for all. Arlan’s work through Backstage Capital, her ability to raise $5 million from 7,000 investors via Regulation Crowdfunding (Reg CF), her discussion about the need and importance of equity crowdfunding in her bestselling book It’s About Damn Time, and her “Investing As A Catalyst” course that has already helped educate thousands of new venture investors all align so strongly with our vision and goals to empower everyone to invest confidently into this new asset class. By collaborating together to educate a broader audience of new investors, we can accomplish that vision more quickly and thoroughly.”

Arlan Hamilton also commented, “Access and information are key drivers of income equality and creation of generational wealth. This is why we at Backstage have taken notable steps toward opening access to previously closed spaces through efforts like our RegCF campaign, Backstage Crowd, and more. The future of startup investing lies in a more diverse population funneling dollars toward more diverse founders. By empowering all investors to make informed, data-driven startup investments, KingsCrowd’s own mission aligns well with ours to fund more underestimated founders. This strategic partnership between KingsCrowd and Backstage is the next large step toward ensuring more democratic access to the private markets and economic equality.”

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