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Report Finds Equity Gaps in L.A. Tech Sector

A new study led by UCLA Luskin Public Policy faculty member Jasmine Hill analyzes the diversity of 2022 venture capital investments in Greater Los Angeles. Released today, the report assesses investments made by 75 venture capital firms that are members of the PledgeLA initiative, which prioritizes equitable access to capital. Hill’s research team determined that less than one-third of the firms’ investments in 2022 went to companies led by women, Black or Latino founders, and these companies received only 4.6% ($6.4 billion) of the $139 billion invested. However, venture capital firms led by underrepresented minorities and those with a diversity thesis were almost twice as likely to back Latino and women founders and four times more likely to invest in Black founders. “Los Angeles has long surpassed the portfolio diversity typical of venture capital on the national level,” Hill said, “but there is a considerable journey ahead before PledgeLA firms reflect the region’s diversity.” The research team, which used a cross-section of data to create a holistic view of the Los Angeles tech ecosystem, included master of public policy student Sydney Smanpongse and public affairs major June Paniouchkine from the Luskin School and UCLA master of economics student Joleen Chiu. The report was commissioned by PledgeLA, launched by the Annenberg Foundation and the Office of the Mayor of Los Angeles to measurably increase diversity, equity and community engagement in the tech sector. In June, PledgeLA announced a new regional goal called “50 in 5,” which seeks to drive 50% of all venture investments to companies led by women, Black and Latino founders by 2028.

Read the full report

Read the PledgeLA news release


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