Company raises $200M to help Black-owned spirits brands

Atlanta-based Pronghorn has invested in 19 brands since its inception in 2022.

Pronghorn is cultivating the next generation of Black executives and entrepreneurs through various initiatives and investments.

The year-old standalone company, based in Atlanta, recently released its first impact report and announced it had received a commitment of $200 million to support its mission to build up Black-owned spirits brands, according to a news release. Global beverage leader Diageo North America is Pronghorn’s anchor investor, fueling its 10-year investment plan for 57 Black-owned spirits brands. 

(Adobe Stock Images)

Pronghorn has invested in 19 brands since its founding in 2022. The company aims to drive ownership and equity in Black-owned spirits brands.

“Since inception, our mission has been crystal clear in creating a template to diversify any industry and in doing so help be a force in supporting new founders, bold executives and the businesses of Black entrepreneurs within the spirits industry,” Dia Simms, Pronghorn co-founder and board chair said in a statement. 

Pronghorn’s 2022-23 impact report notes that Black Americans represent 12% of all spirits consumers but only 7% of the spirits workforce, and 2% of executives.

Pronghorn identified 258 Black-owned spirits companies in its first year, supported the businesses of 40 Black founders, and invested in 19 portfolio brands. In addition, the impact report revealed that Pronghorn placed Black employees in 1,800 roles within the industry, achieving 5% of the company’s target, according to the news release.

“We couldn’t be more proud of the Pronghorn team’s pace of progress towards our goal within just one year of launch,” Simms said, per the news release. “So much hard work remains, but this investment is significant and the purpose is powerful.”  

Pronghorn is looking to generate $2.4 billion in industry economic value by 2032 through employment for the Black community.  

Many of Pronghorn’s initiatives aim to develop Black executives through mentorships and internships. The HBCU Spirited Innovation Lab and the Spirits Academy, in partnership with InRoads Inc., are among the initiatives.

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