New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins has launched a $10 million venture capital fund with backers including other NFL players, The Associated Press reported on Oct. 7.
The fund is named Broad Street Ventures after the street in Philadelphia, where Jenkins played six seasons. Twin brothers Devin and Jason McCourty, who play for the New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles safety Rodney McLeod, and free agent Jordan Matthews are also on board, as is Philadelphia news anchor Sharrie Williams.
Jenkins co-created the fund with Ralonda Johnson, a lifelong friend who is also president of Malcolm Inc., Jenkins’ company that oversees some of his off-the-field business, like retail and apparel.
“While less than 1% of American venture capital backed founders are Black, an even smaller percentage are women of color,” Jenkins told the AP. “We need to break down those barriers, and this is why I’m proud to have Ralonda at the helm of Broad Street Ventures and Sharrie coming on board as an investor. Black women are helping to rewrite the narrative and we are inviting more Black women to the table to create generational wealth for themselves and others. This is an important initiative to me, as my businesses are not only run by strong women but also supported by women.”
Broad Street Ventures has already invested in Airbnb, Automattic, Epic Games, NoBull, Turo and ZenWtr.
The fund is being advised by Rashaun Williams, who runs a $300 million fund within Manhattan Venture Partners, Forbes reported.
“Ralonda and Malcolm are really doing this right and something no other celebrity investors are doing,” Williams told Forbes. “They are not just asking for money. They are educating themselves, and when they invite investors in, they are making sure they are getting educated, too.”
Jenkins wants to help set others players up financially for life after football, he told Forbes.
“Money isn’t really talked about in the locker room,” Jenkins told Forbes. “A lot of flashy people come around, get us to put money in risky businesses. Guys make bad decisions and don’t tell anyone, and so the same mistakes are repeated. I wanted to organize players away from that and help create wealth.”
After the fund gets more established, it will “look for opportunities to invest in Black and Brown businesses that don’t have access to capital or friends and family who can help them through the startup phase,” according to Forbes.
Jenkins has a number of other off-the-field ventures, including the Malcolm Jenkins Foundation, production company Listen Up Media, and The Players Coalition, which he co-founded in 2017 with Anquan Boldin. Jenkins also became CNN’s first athlete contributor in June.
“Sharing the wealth of knowledge, that is where the power is,” he told Forbes. “I’m not just in this for the money. If it’s just the education my peers get out of this, I’m satisfied with that because it helps guys not get taken advantage of and gives them a measuring rod to value their own investments. It gives them a tool to be self-reliant to build wealth for their families