Comcast Ventures Brings ‘Catalyst’ Fund to Bay Area

Comcast Ventures, Comcast’s VC arm, has expanded its Catalyst Fund to the west coast with the hire of Laurence “Lo” Toney, the former CEO of LearnStreet and GM at Zynga, the social gaming services company.

Comcast Ventures Catalyst Fund focuses on investing in early stage startups  led by minority entrepreneurs.

“Minority-founded startups have traditionally received a disproportionately low percentage of angel and venture funding,” said Toney, in a statement. I’m eager to help change that by establishing a dedicated Comcast Ventures Catalyst Fund presence in the Bay Area. We have an opportunity to help minority entrepreneurs grow and succeed by bringing them financial and strategic resources from our LP.”

“I am delighted to welcome Laurence ‘Lo’ Toney to Comcast Ventures Catalyst Fund,” added Amy Banse, managing director and head of funds for Comcast Ventures. “With his background, expertise and network, Lo is the perfect person to lead Catalyst Fund West and help us identify exciting new companies to support and contribute to the growth of our portfolio.”

Toney, who is also late of, and eBay, joins William Crowder, who leads the Catalyst Fund’s efforts from the east coast.

The Catalyst Fund, founded in 2011, manages a portfolio that currently includes nine companies: AptDeco, Maker’s Row, Cuyana, Mercaris, Loverly, Quad Learning, Reactor Inc., Versa and Virdis.