SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – MassMutual has created a new investment fund to provide support to businesses across the state, with a focus on racial diversity.
The MM Catalyst Fund LLC (MMCF), a $50 million investment commitment, will be divided evenly between two sleeves of capital: a $25 million community growth sleeve (“MMCF Growth”) to target equity and debt investments in Black-owned, founded, or managed businesses across Massachusetts, including in Boston; and, a $25 million technology sleeve (“MMCF Tech”) to target equity investments in Massachusetts technology companies based outside Boston.
The plan is to create a portfolio of early and mid-stage companies with investment sizes of 250K to $2.5 million each and create opportunities to increase access to capital for the Black community. The initiative hopes to spur business growth and job development in less economically developed areas within the state.
Rilwan Meeran, Impact Investment Portfolio Manager at MassMutual who runs the MMCF said, “Impact investing at MassMutual seeks to create a positive social and environmental impact that is measurable while also making market-rate financial returns. Philanthropy alone cannot solve our society’s problems; institutional capital investment should also play a role.”
The fund managers will implement and set goals to track diversity outcomes to identify underrepresented groups missing in its pipeline, deal selection, and portfolio across both sleeves of capital. This will allow for the development of strategies that address the gaps. The MMCF’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is at the core of its investment and operational practices with a belief that inclusion drives innovation, creativity, and financial performance.
MMCF launched an open, public-facing, online funding application to create a level playing field to access its capital with the goal of funding parity. The application page is now available here.
More about MassMutual’s investment philosophy, including a strategy built on diversification, judicious selection, and value, is available here.