Morgan Stanley Investment Management (MSIM) has announced the close of its Morgan Stanley Next Level Fund, setting aside $50 million to foster early-stage technology companies led by underrepresented entrepreneurs. This initiative is part of MSIM's substantial $200 billion alternative business sector, which aims to reshape the entrepreneurial landscape by providing strategic support and capital to startups in various industries, including fintech and media.
The Next Level Fund has already deployed a quarter of its capital into promising ventures such as HourWork, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform co-founded by Rahkeem Morris and Rob Snyder that addresses staffing challenges in the gig economy. Another notable investment is in Bodily, founded by Tovah Haim, which offers support to women from conception through postpartum care, highlighting the fund's commitment to diversity not just in leadership but also in the sectors it chooses to support.
The fund's strategic partnerships are backed by major corporations such as Hearst, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ), Walmart (NYSE: WMT ), Altria (NYSE: MO ), Ten Figures Ventures, and Phalanx Impact Partners. These collaborations are designed to enhance the performance outcomes for the startups while also balancing entrepreneurial opportunities for groups that have historically been underrepresented in the tech industry.
Alice Vilma and David N. Miller from MSIM emphasized their dedication to altering the funding landscape for overlooked founders. The team leverages expertise from corporate partners to ensure better financial results for the startups involved. Debevoise & Plimpton provided legal guidance throughout this fundraising process.
As of September end, MSIM managed assets worth $1.4 trillion globally and boasts an extensive team of over 1,300 investment professionals. Morgan Stanley continues to reinforce its position as a leading global financial services firm with a broad range of banking and management services catering to an international clientele.
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