Huntington Invests $3M in Minneapolis Black-Led Venture Firm
Brown Venture Group managing partners Paul Campbell and Chris Brooks Photo courtesy of Brown Venture Group

Huntington Invests $3M in Minneapolis Black-Led Venture Firm

Brown Venture Group, a VC firm dedicated to underrepresented founders, is on a mission to raise $50 million in total for its inaugural fund.

Black-led venture capital firm Brown Venture Group has added another $3 million to its coffers.

On Tuesday, the Minneapolis firm announced that it has received a $3 million investment from Columbus, Ohio-based Huntington National Bank.

Founded in 2018, Brown has been steadily raising money, with the ultimate goal of distributing it to underrepresented founders. The firm said it’s been working to raise $50 million in total for its inaugural fund.

Two years ago, Brown received big-ticket investments from Best Buy and Bank of America. At the time, the firm said it was about 75% complete on its quest to $50 million. Now, Brown expects to close the fund at the end of September, co-founder and managing partner Paul Campbell said in an email.

Brown exclusively invests in tech startups led by Black, Latino and Indigenous founders. To date, the firm has invested in 26 startups.

“A key part of our purpose at Huntington is helping businesses thrive, so we are honored to partner with Brown Venture Group and support its mission to help minority tech entrepreneurs bring their vision to life,” said Darrel German, Minnesota regional president for Huntington, in a news release issued Tuesday. “All of our collective efforts are about building more vibrant, diverse and successful communities for all.”

Brown’s founders first reached out to Huntington about partnering “after seeing in the news that Huntington was committed to strengthening small businesses, minority, and under-resourced communities,” Campbell said.

Despite a general downturn in venture capital funding this year, Campbell said his firm’s investment pipeline remains robust.

“Because we are focused on early stage entrepreneurs we are still seeing a lot of need and activity,” he said. “We have made investments so far this year and we anticipate continuing a steady stream of investments in underfunded minority tech entrepreneurs.”

Though it’s now emblazoned on the University of Minnesota’s stadium, the Huntington name is still a relative newcomer to the Twin Cities market. The bank first entered the region through its merger with longtime Minnesota bank TCF Financial Corp. in 2021.