Trident has landed seed and anchor funding for its newest private equity fund. The investment is a vote of confidence in the firm’s use of technology to advance returns and diversity, equity and inclusion. Founder and CEO Eric Taylor tells Mergers & Acquisitions about his approach.

“We use tech to remove inherent bias. It allows a more diverse group of entrepreneurs and businesses to get equitable access to capital and opportunities to ensure commercial and social outcomes are maximized. And, it means consistency; our process to find deals one and two in the portfolio will look just like our process to find deals five and six.”

The approach comes as environmental, social and governance issues have come to carve out a segment of M&A of their own; companies offering data aggregation have attracted recent takeover interest. Trident’s legacy portfolio is comprised of four companies, of which 40 percent of executives are women and 60 percent of executives are people of color.

The lower middle market investment firm will target companies “doing $2 to $20 million of Ebitda,” Taylor says, especially “everyday companies that are growing and profitable and are broadly overlooked in the PE community.”

Small businesses represent $8 trillion in asset value that institutional investors do not currently access. “That $8 trillion niche is where Trident excels,” Taylor says.  

Taylor is a Goldman Sachs special situations team alum, and was formerly a Brightwood Capital portfolio manager.