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March 14, 2024

Westbound Equity Partners: Investing in Underrepresented Founders and Inclusive Cultures

Westbound Equity Partners (formerly Concrete Rose) would have earned our investment in their second fund based on nothing more than Fund I’s performance and their exceptional team. But there’s much more about Westbound that has us excited to announce that we have invested as an LP in the firm’s $100M Fund II.

Let’s start with their extensive track record of funding strong companies with underrepresented founders. The Westbound team has backed minority founder-led winners such as Esusu, PlanetFWD, Altro, and Syndio. And they’ve already begun deploying capital from Fund II with exciting companies like Sierra and Mon Ami. In fact, the vast majority of the firm’s investments have gone to underrepresented minority founders. However, their strategy for supporting bold leaders is built on a broader vision. Westbound looks for three types of founders:

  1. Underrepresented minority founding teams
  2. Founders serving underrepresented communities
  3. Founders committed to building inclusive cultures

The firm aims to bridge Black and Latino founders to the social capital that all founders need to succeed. Fund II enables Westbound to expand on their vision to build a virtuous cycle of wealth and opportunity by investing financial and social capital into exceptional founders and ventures led by, solving problems for, or built with underrepresented people of color. Beyond their public commitment to broaden opportunity for those who’ve historically been left behind – and beyond even internal accountability to those goals – the Westbound team has committed to reinvest 50 percent of their carry dollars in underrepresented communities via the Westbound Foundation.

Enabling Companies to Build Inclusive Cultures

Westbound also focuses on helping portfolio companies build inclusive cultures. The firm developed a four-part framework that fosters explicit alignment around company culture codes, equitable people processes, inclusive team interactions, and inclusive products and marketing structures.

Many companies choose to partner directly with Danae Sterental, Westbound’s culture partner, for this type of expertise. Danae has extensive experience in this space both at Google and as founder of HereWe, a firm that helps companies drive explicit, aligned, and equitable cultures.

An All-Star Leadership Team

The investment team has curated an all-star network of operators and investors who can support their portfolio companies, including Jeff Weiner and Andre Iguodala. This supplements the team’s already impressive backgrounds. Before co-founding Westbound Equity Partners, Sean Mendy was a venture partner at Next Play Ventures and EIR at Sixth Street. He also served as an executive at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula and an advisor to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Ian Beadle, the other co-founding partner of Westbound, was previously an investor at Littlebanc Advisors, focused on fintech, ecommerce, logistics, and consumer companies.

In 2020, shortly after founding the firm, the team brought on Partner Will Bumpus, who has operating experience at Headspace,, and Activision.

“Magical Humans” Backing Exceptional Companies

This team’s exceptional relationships throughout the tech industry position them very well to accelerate the early steps of a company’s journey. We have had the pleasure of co-investing with Westbound in companies such as Forum Brands and Praxis Labs. And as we got to know more folks who have worked with the Westbound team, we started to hear descriptions like “magical humans” and other rave reviews from founders and investors alike. It is that kind of energy that makes us so excited for this partnership.

We look forward to supporting the Westbound Equity Partners team and portfolio as they systematically break barriers in the venture industry.