An investment and consulting firm that funds and advises businesses founded by people of color and whose clients include former President Barack Obama is getting fresh funding from an advocate. other famous.
Commercial Bank BDT & Co. is holding a stake in Pendulum Holdings LLC., a company co-founded and led by former BDT partner Robbie Robinson and his wife D’Rita, executives from both companies said. They said the money will be used to continue building Pendulum’s staff.
The investment, which gives BDT a non-voting minority stake in the Pendulum, follows a similar infusion from
Bank of America Corp.
last year, which had not been previously reported. It is impossible to know how much both companies have invested.
BDT specializes in consulting and investing in family and founder-led businesses. Its founder, Byron Trott, formerly of
Goldman Sachs Group Inc.,
known as the favorite banker of the famous investor Warren Buffett.
Mr. Robinson, who is best known for advising Mr. Obama and his wife Michelle on their personal finances, met Mr. Trott at Goldman, where they worked together for a number of years. In 2009, he left the bank to help Mr. Trott build BDT.
In the end, the Robinsons decided there should be an organization like BDT that catered to Black founders and other people of color. They launched Los Angeles-based Pendulum in 2019.
Mr. Robinson serves as chief executive officer, while Mrs. Robinson, a former chemist, civic leader and entrepreneur, is chief executive.
“Being an entrepreneur of color today can be a lonely journey,” said Mr. Robinson. “People are excited to be part of a platform that feels like it was built for them.”
He said businesses founded by people of color fail with greater frequency, often due to a lack of capital. Even those with access to capital often receive advice that is more transactional than strategic.
“These are high quality businesses and skilled entrepreneurs don’t get the same support,” said Trott, who has personally invested in the Pendulum fund.
Robinsons said Pendulum seeks to invest in companies that appeal to consumers who are driven by their values.
The investment arm of the company, which has raised $200 million, has so far supported 12 different businesses. Among them is Altro Inc., an app that helps users build their credit profile by tracking their spending; FieldTrip fast simple restaurant platform and SparkCharge mobile electric vehicle charging network.
In addition to the Obamas, Pendulum’s consulting business counts NBA point guards Chris Paul and Jerry Lorenzo, founders of luxury streetwear brand Fear of God, among its clients.
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