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CUNA Mutual Group Launches Fund for Early-Stage Startups Founded by People of Color and Women

The Discovery Fund will invest $15 million in early-stage companies over the next three years.

CUNA Mutual Group, a broad financial services provider, recently announced that its venture capital arm, CMFG Ventures, has launched the CMFG Ventures Discovery Fund. The Discovery Fund will invest in early-stage startups with diverse founding teams targeting the financial technology industry.

A champion of early-stage startups

The Discovery Fund will build upon the established track record of CMFG Ventures. CMFG Ventures has made over $200 million worth of investments in 28 companies over the last five years. Most have focused on Series A and B rounds of funding. Several of CMFG Ventures’ investments have now achieved “unicorn” status (meaning a valuation of $1 billion or more.)

“At CMFG Ventures, we’re well aware of the barriers to entry that exist for people of color and women entrepreneurs in gaining access to venture capital. Through the launch of our Discovery Fund, we believe we can build a more diverse portfolio of companies to support now and invest in further as they grow,” said Brian Kaas, President and Managing Director of CMFG Ventures and Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at CUNA Mutual Group. “We also see a great opportunity to provide resources to help these young companies develop by getting in front of credit unions and credit union customers. Credit unions are mission-based, serving middle market communities that are too often overlooked by other financial services providers.”

A commitment to making a positive impact

The Discovery Fund will launch with an initial commitment of $15 million over three years. Elizabeth McCluskey will manage the fund. McCluskey joined CMFG Ventures from Impact Engine. Impact Engine is a women-owned and led venture capital and private equity firm. It is focused on driving a positive impact in economic opportunity, health equity and environmental sustainability.

The Discovery Fund has closed three investments to date, with a steady pipeline expected for the rest of 2021 and beyond. Investments closed to date include:

  • Home Lending Pal, an AI-powered mortgage advisor and blockchain-based marketplace built to address mortgage inefficiencies and biases.
  • Line, a platform through which consumers can access up to $1,000 for essentials or emergencies with no interest or income restrictions.
  • Pulsate, a marketing communications platform that enables financial institutions to send personalized messages to members, driving engagement, sales and loyalty.  

About CUNA Mutual Group

CUNA Mutual Group is a financially strong insurance, investment and financial services company. CUNA is built on the principle of “people helping people”. The company believes a brighter financial future should be accessible to everyone. Through our company culture, community engagement and products and solutions, we are working to create a more equitable financial system. This system aims to help improve the lives of those we serve and our society. For more information, visit

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