SPRINGFIELD, Mass., and BOSTON, April 13, 2023– Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) today announced that it launched a second MM Catalyst Fund (MMCF) of $100 million to continue investing in Black-led startups as well as overlooked businesses across Massachusetts, building on the first $50 million 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 that's redefining food and agriculture performance with its fully electric innovations, from field to fridge.
“This new fund will build and expand upon the MM Catalyst Fund’s success – including ourinnovative, consultative approach that helps address the gaps and barriers to funding,” said Jason Allen, Portfolio Manager of Impact Investments at MassMutual. “We look forward toinvesting 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.”
Through both the MM Catalyst Fund and the First Fund Initiative, MassMutual’s total impact investment commitment has more than doubled to $300 million 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 will now consider investment opportunities alongside these fund managers in diverse-led businesses across the US and Canada.
Liz Roberts, Head of Impact Investing at MassMutual added, “As one of the first movers in this space, we are excited to continue supporting entrepreneurs in our home state of Massachusetts as well as expanding our focus to select investment opportunities in diverse-led businesses across the country. Importantly, we hope that our continued commitment and investments in diverse and overlooked companies will inspire other firms and institutions to follow suit so we can collectively reduce structural barriers and advance racial equity.”