Marcelo Claure speaking at eMerge Americas in Miami on June 12, 2017.
David A. Grogan | CNBC
SoftBank on Wednesday announced a $100 million Opportunity Fund that will invest only in companies led by people of color.
It’s one of the first large funds created in response to nationwide protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man. SoftBank Group International CEO Marcelo Claure told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday that the company put it together in the past 24 hours after speaking to SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son.
“We spoke to Masa Son about the privilege that we see at SoftBank, being one of the largest tech investors in the world, and we needed to do something big about it,” Claure said.
“The whole thing is to do something about it. I see a lot of people have good intentions, but I think each one of us needs to contribute to make change in America,” he added.
The fund will start with $100 million of its own capital and could grow that with more investments. Still, the fund pales in comparison to SoftBank’s Vision Fund of $100 billion, which is designed to invest heavily in high-growth start-ups. ($100 million was the minimum amount SoftBank would invest in Vision Fund companies.)
SoftBank will not take a traditional management fee, the company said in a statement. Half of its gains will be reinvested into subsequent Growth Opportunity Funds.The company will also donate a portion of its gains to organizations that create opportunities for people of color.
In a letter to employees, Claure said SoftBank is also creating a dedication diversity and inclusion program to examine hiring biases.
The company added it will match all personal donations, up to $1,000, to support nonprofit organizations that fight racism and discrimination.