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Two Ravens is a new venture firm based in the Seattle region that is focused on supporting early stage tech startup founders who may be overlooked by other investors. Founded by longtime entrepreneur and investor Isaac Kato, the firm is targeting diverse founders, immigrant founders, and founders located outside of major startup investment hubs such as Silicon Valley or New York City. Two Ravens recently came out of stealth mode and aims to invest between $250,000 to $500,000 in each company, as well as lead, co-lead, or participate in follow-on rounds. A SEC filing from December revealed that the firm was raising a $20 million fund.

Isaac Kato has a strong background in entrepreneurship and investing, having previously led the Techstars Seattle accelerator as managing director from 2019 to 2022. He also led Techstars’ Filecoin Accelerator, which focused on companies utilizing the IPFS/Filecoin blockchain-based storage network. Prior to his time at Techstars, Kato served as president at MightyAI, a Seattle startup that was acquired by Uber in 2019. He joined MightyAI in 2018 after nearly a decade of leading London-based data center company Verne Global. Kato is a graduate of Stanford and Harvard and has a history of founding and selling successful companies.

In addition to Isaac Kato, Two Ravens includes Carson Nye as another member of its team. Nye previously worked as an investment manager at Techstars Seattle before the accelerator announced its shutdown in February. Kato expressed his disappointment in the closure, calling it a “serious loss” for the community but also acknowledged the potential for other accelerators to step in and fill the gap. He highlighted the resilience and tight-knit nature of the Seattle entrepreneurial community, noting that there is an opportunity for a successor to continue supporting and fostering relationships within the ecosystem.

Two Ravens’ focus on investing in underrepresented founders aligns with a growing trend in the venture capital industry. A report by McKinsey highlighted the funding gaps for Black, Latino, and women founders, pointing to untapped economic opportunities. By specifically targeting diverse and non-obvious founders, Two Ravens aims to support entrepreneurs who may face barriers to traditional funding sources. The firm’s approach reflects a broader push in the industry to increase diversity and inclusion in entrepreneurship and investment, recognizing the potential for innovation and economic growth that comes from supporting a wide range of founders.

As Two Ravens joins the ranks of venture firms prioritizing underrepresented founders, it signals a shift towards more inclusive and diverse investment practices. By investing in extraordinary founders who may not fit the traditional mold, the firm is not only seeking financial returns but also supporting innovation and economic growth in underserved communities. With a focus on founders who are often overlooked by mainstream investors, Two Ravens is positioning itself as a champion for diversity and inclusion in the tech startup ecosystem. As the firm continues to raise its fund and make investments, it will be interesting to see the impact it has on the startup landscape in the Seattle region and beyond.

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