Unshackled Ventures Announces $35M Fund III, As the Only Firm to Exclusively Back Immigrant Founders through Green Card Support, Network, and Community

Unshackled Ventures
4 min readJun 27, 2023
  • The firm has provided 200+ founders with visa sponsorship, full immigration support, and a community of resources leading to 72% receiving follow on funding by the world’s top VCs\

SAN FRANCISCO (June 27, 2023) Unshackled Ventures, the only pre-seed venture capital fund that enables immigrant founders to start companies in the U.S., is pleased to announce the successful close of its $35 million Fund III, backed by high-profile limited partners, 73% of which is institutional LPs. Unshackled Fund III LPs include Cambridge Associates, Cendana, Emerson Collective, California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank), and Sorenson Impact Advisory, more than doubling its assets under management (AUM).

Immigrant founders are some of the strongest job creators out there and many work with top tech giants that fuel our economy. In fact, privately held billion-dollar startups with immigrant founders have created an average of more than 1,200 jobs per company, the vast majority in the U.S.

But these bright minds in tech are faced with various obstacles that prevent them from staying in the country due to immigration laws if and when they want to leave Big Tech to start their own companies. That is, unless they can figure out a way to get a green card — and fast — which isn’t an easy feat. The H-1B visa lottery was flooded with 781,000 registrations of immigrant workers in 2023 alone, with only 85,000 slots available.

The impact this has is threefold: fewer jobs on the market, reduced innovation, and a dwindling economy.

That’s where Unshackled comes in.

“It’s an incredibly taxing and unnatural process to start a company while on a visa in America,” said Co-Founder and General Partner at Unshackled Ventures, Manan Mehta. “We’re proud to be the first text an immigrant sends when they’re ready to start their company. We seek to further leverage our platform by continuing to support founders at the earliest stages of their business with this new fund.”

Unlocking Access to the American Dream

Founded by immigrants, the firm is the only one of its kind that has created a sustainable place for U.S. immigrants to launch a company no matter their current work authorization, whether they are new U.S. citizens or on a student visa.

Unshackled ensures the U.S. maintains a competitive advantage in the global race to produce lasting companies that create jobs through its investment in immigrant founders and unlocks the entrepreneurial talent tied down by immigration regulations.

55% of unicorn startups in the U.S. have an immigrant founder as of May 2022. Unshackled aims to grow this number through its proven track record of investing in founders to raise over $700M from top funds such as First Round, a16z, YC, 776, General Catalyst, Canaan, Foundation, Canvas, and more.

Unshackled has invested in 80 businesses and has created 1100+ jobs to date because of its unique ability to seek out this untapped super talent that would have otherwise gone undiscovered by venture capital. The firm has already made 18 investments with Fund III including: Masa Finance, a web3 identify infrastructure layer; Cache Energy, a long-duration energy storage company; and Formally, a generative AI legal tech company.

“IBank recognizes the immense value that immigrants bring to the US economy. Unshackled’s commitment to investing in and nurturing immigrant entrepreneurs aligns perfectly with our belief in inclusive innovation,” said Scott Wu, Executive Director of IBank. “IBank’s Expanding Venture Capital Access program aims to foster an environment where talented individuals from all backgrounds can succeed, turning their ideas into businesses that typically wouldn’t have a chance if it weren’t for a fund manager like Unshackled that provides an ecosystem of resources.”

Immigrant Founders Start Here

On July 18, Unshackled will be unveiling Eighteen150, a first-of-its-kind founder-in-residence program, supporting as many immigrant entrepreneurs as possible, regardless of their immigration status. The program will dedicate $5 million of Fund III for complete immigration and employment support, offering founders $150,000 or 18 months of runway, for 10% ownership. Immigrant entrepreneurs from anywhere in the U.S. are encouraged to apply, regardless of status or number of ideas.

To learn more about Unshackled Ventures, visit https://www.unshackledvc.com/.

About Unshackled Ventures:

Unshackled Ventures is the only early-stage venture capital fund that enables unrecognized and excluded immigrant founders to start companies in the U.S. Since its founding in 2014, Unshackled has proven its thesis that investing and supporting this population drives strong investment returns across key industries, including American infrastructure, generative AI, healthcare, space, and enterprise SaaS. To date, the firm has invested in 80 companies and over 200 entrepreneurs.

Media Contact

Merrita Villa

PR for Unshackled Ventures

unshackledvc@vsc.co

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Unshackled Ventures

Pre-seed fund dedicated to investing in and unlocking opportunities for immigrant entrepreneurs.