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Unshackled Ventures Proves Immigrants Can Start a Company While on a Visa in the U.S., Raises $20M Second Fund to Grow Portfolio

Immigrant-focused VC firm’s 31 portfolio companies have raised $54 million in follow-on investments from 250 established investors, keeping innovation and entrepreneurship alive in the U.S.

Palo Alto, CA – WEBWIRE

Unshackled Ventures, the only venture capital firm that focuses on backing immigrant entrepreneurs seeking to launch their startups in the U.S., today announced a $20 million raise for its second fund. The fund will continue the venture capital firm’s unique approach by investing at the pre-seed stage level and helping entrepreneurs navigate the legal maze required to start and grow companies in the U.S. 

“As an immigrant, I know firsthand the barriers foreign-born entrepreneurs face when it comes to accessing capital and networking resources critical to founding a company,” said Nitin Pachisia, Founding Partner of Unshackled. “I founded Unshackled while on a visa to show people like me that it’s possible to achieve the American dream, even in these circumstances. Today, I’m proud to say that I’m the first recipient of nearly 100 successful visa filings, and I look forward to increasing Unshackled’s impact as we deploy our second fund.”

The $20 million second fund includes commitments from some of the most notable investors in the country, including Bloomberg Beta, Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures and Emerson Collective. 

Since its first investment in 2015, Unshackled has invested in 31 companies with a 100% success rate in securing visas to keep talent working in the United States. The VC is on a mission to remove obstacles facing immigrant entrepreneurs, going so far as to regularly invest in companies without seeing anything built, developed or launched.

“We are the friends and family capital that immigrant entrepreneurs don’t have,” said Manan Mehta, Founding Partner of Unshackled. “We invest in companies from day zero, take risks with them, and give them the support they need -- whether it’s helping them through their visa process, or connecting them with a high-value network. We’ve heard a lot of people say that it’s just not possible to found a company if you’re on a visa. I’m thrilled that Unshackled is proving them wrong.”

The firm rejects pattern recognition as an investment strategy and actively works against systemic biases. As a result, Unshackled is the lead investor in 90% of its portfolio companies, gaining access to a largely untapped pipeline of promising founders and startup ideas. In fact, the firm’s portfolio companies have gone on to raise $54 million of outside capital via 250 follow-on investments from large, top-tier institutional investors including Y Combinator, First Round Capital, NEA, Shasta, Refactor Capital, Fall Line Capital, Pear, 50 Years, Nexus Ventures, One Way Ventures, Data Collective, Village Global, RRE, Rise of the Rest, Gradient Ventures (Google), Sequoia & Accel Scouts and Emerson Collective.

“I didn’t think it was possible to start a company on a visa in the U.S., let alone scale one to hit the next major milestone so quickly,” said Prateek Joshi, founder of Unshackled’s portfolio company Plutoshift. “After receiving a Master’s from USC, I wanted to create a product to help solve the $40 billion water problem but felt confined to getting a job at a tech company to secure a visa. That all changed when we met the Unshackled team. From handling the time- and cost-intensive visa filing process to providing the capital and network we need to succeed, Unshackled is the best place for immigrant founders to start a company.”

At the same time, Unshackled is boosting the U.S. economy by helping to retain world-class talent in the country. Indeed, almost half of all Fortune 500 companies were started by immigrants, while recent research by the National Foundation for American Policy has shown that 55% of the country’s $1 billion startup companies had at least one immigrant founder. As such, the firm actively seeks out talent from universities, traveling all over the country to host or attend events and speak on campuses. Additionally, Unshackled participates in multiple tours nationwide, including Rise of the Rest, hosted by Steve Case and JD Vance to celebrate and invest in emerging startups; VetCon, an event for veteran entrepreneurs across the nation; and the Comeback Cities Tour, which brings Silicon Valley investors into America’s heartland.  As a result of these efforts, 80% of the firm’s portfolio companies have a founder that is educated by the U.S. higher education system, with 80% of those having earned a Master’s or Ph.D. degree.

Unshackled’s portfolio is comprised of startups from industries like trucking to manufacturing to even space technology, including:

  • Bluefield Technologies, a company monitoring methane emissions in the Oil & Gas industry from lower earth orbit
  • Lily AI, an emotional intelligence platform that helps major brands & retailers understand the ‘why’ in a shopper’s decision
  • Starsky Robotics, a robotics company designing and manufacturing autonomous and remote controlled trucks on the highway
  • PlutoShift, a performance monitoring company for industrial processes and assets at some of the largest chemical and food and beverage companies in the United States and world
  • Plantible, a company producing a plant-based protein ingredient that can replace eggs by growing and processing a crop that doubles in mass every 36 hours
  • Togg, a healthcare company providing radar sensors to monitor senior health and living 

Unshackled’s second fund more than quadruples the value of its first $4.5M fund and will be used to scale the firm’s ability to invest in immigrant-founded teams and support them and help them start companies four times faster. Immigrant entrepreneurs looking for access to world-class capital and startup networks can reach the team at

About Unshackled Ventures
Unshackled Ventures is the first and only early-stage venture capital fund focused on retaining foreign talent in the U.S. By investing in immigrants and helping them to secure visas, the firm has tapped into undiscovered super-talent in helping foreign-born founders turn their innovative ideas into the next great American company.  Launched in 2015, Unshackled has raised over $25 million and invested in over 30 companies in core American industries from trucking, infrastructure, and manufacturing to healthcare and space technology. 

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