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HL BaSE provided a combination of pro bono and low bono legal advice to Black Seed, a venture capital seed fund dedicated to Black founders in the UK.  Black Seed have announced today that it has raised £5M in its inaugural fund with M&G Investments leading the round. There was also additional investment from venture capital firms Atomico, Local Globe, Molten Ventures, and WestRiver Group as well as other high net worth investors.

“We deeply appreciate Hogan Lovells for their partnership in our mission to drive meaningful change and democratise access to VC funding for black founders in the UK. The barriers to entry for emerging fund managers who look like us are extremely high. It takes the collective support of the wider ecosystem, and organisations like Hogan Lovells who are willing to roll up their sleeves, to allow us to be audacious enough to challenge the status quo.”

Karl Lokko, Black Seed

Hogan Lovells advised both Black Seed LP on its £5M first closing, as well as its general partner on a minority seed investment in the general partner by M&G Investments alongside Karl Lokko and Cyril Lutterodt, the founders of Black Seed. 

In June 2020, Hogan Lovells made a formal pledge to devote at least 65,000 pro bono hours through 2024 to promote economic equity and social equity for people of colour. The HL BaSE practice has for 10-years been working with leading innovators and disrupters in the social economy space. Through our work we have supported over 500 businesses, but importantly, we have seen so many of these ground-breaking business set the standard for the business community – providing challenge and examples in their implementation of ESG, at the core of their work. 

This innovative piece of  work was led by partner Erik Jamieson, who has a track record in advising impact investment funds. Erik was supported by a team which included associates Alice O’Neill and Sadhbh Browne and trainee Nicholas Connor.

“It has been a pleasure to help the Black Seed team launch their first fund. Karl and Cyril are inspiring founders and it is wonderful to see their energy, drive and commitment being rewarded with a successful first closing. I look forward to seeing Black Seed raise further capital and deploying it in a truly meaningful way.”

Erik Jamieson, Hogan Lovells