MassMutual launches $100m fund to invest in diverse startups


Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) has launched a second MM Catalyst Fund (MMCF) of $100m to invest in diverse startups and overlooked businesses across Massachusetts.

The fund builds on the first $50m fund the company launched just over two years ago. Additionally, this second fund will selectively invest alongside fund managers within MassMutual’s First Fund Initiative in Black, Latino and Indigenous-led businesses across the US and Canada.

Since 2021, the MM Catalyst Fund has invested in 16 businesses across Massachusetts, driving growth in Black-led companies as well as startups in rural areas of the Commonwealth – including investments in HourWork, a recruitment and retention platform for hourly workers in the quick-service restaurant industry, and Clean Crop Technologies, a western Massachusetts-based agriculture technology startup.

Through both the MM Catalyst Fund and the First Fund Initiative, MassMutual said its total impact investment commitment has more than doubled to $300m in just over two years. MassMutual’s First Fund Initiative invests in Black, Latino, and Indigenous first-time fund managers.

With the second MM Catalyst Fund, MassMutual said it will now consider investment opportunities alongside these fund managers in diverse-led businesses across the US and Canada.

Jason Allen, portfolio manager of impact investments at MassMutual, said, “This new fund will build and expand upon the MM Catalyst Fund’s success – including our innovative, consultative approach that helps address the gaps and barriers to funding.

“We look forward to investing in companies led by exceptional founders who are solving problems with compassion and conviction to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact while addressing inequality in capital markets.”

Last year, MassMutual Ventures’ (MMV) Asia-Pacific and Europe team launched a $300m fund to invest in early and growth-stage companies in digital health, financial technology, enterprise SaaS, and cybersecurity.

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