February 4, 2023

Luke Cooper‘s Latimer VenturesFounded earlier this year to fund black and Hispanic entrepreneurs in Baltimore, it has latched on Alena manan entrepreneur and venture capitalist with experience in promoting SaaS startups, as a partner.

Originally from New Jersey, Mann has spent much of his time in the startup ecosystem in Nashville, Tennessee. Before joining Latimer, she was a director at Cultivation Capital where she focused on investing in software and IT companies, particularly cloud-based ones. At Cultivation Capital, she reportedly raised $15 million for SaaS startups including Lionize, Trusty.Care, Chatdesk, and Element451. She has also collaborated with crowdfunding platform Wefund.

“I joined Latimer because it is undeniably clear how our team can make a meaningful impact in this industry,” Mann said, according to Latimer’s post on LinkedIn. “In an $82.4 trillion AUM industry, according to the Knight Foundation [assets under management]only 1.4% of wealth goes to businesses owned by women and/or people of color,” she added, citing the difficulties minority entrepreneurs routinely face in raising funds.

In 2018, Mann launched VER CO, a direct-to-consumer fashion brand aiming to make sustainability more affordable for millennial women. She has also worked at Saks, Saks Off Fifth, Gilt.com, Jet.com, Walmart.com and Club Monaco. Mann has a BA in Political Science from Vanderbilt University and was named to the HBCUvc 2021 Emerging VC cohort and received an Emerging Leaders Award.

Latimer Ventures aims to invest in Black and Hispanic-owned insurance, cybersecurity, fintech, enterprise and healthcare businesses with a focus on SaaS. It has made two portfolio investments — parking fee-enabling MeterFeeder and cybersecurity startup CyDeploy — with proposed initial capital of $250 million.

Cooper, who started out as a lawyer, is the founder of Fixt, an on-demand device support startup whose early clients included Coca-Cola. He sold it to Fortune 500 insurer Assurant in 2020.

“I started my career as an M&A attorney in Baltimore, but after a few years and a couple of small bosses, I knew the only path for me was tech entrepreneurship,” he said charlie cat in an interview published on Medium last year. “I didn’t want to waste my time worrying about whether I was wearing the right tie or whether I carefully placed the quotation marks outside the punctuation marks.”

Cooper earned a joint law degree from Syracuse University and an MBA from Babson College. He was a venture partner at San Francisco-based Preface Ventures and an entrepreneur-in-residence at Georgetown University.

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