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Jack Dorsey, the former CEO and co-founder of Twitter Inc and the founder of Block Inc, has teamed up with rapper Jay-Z to launch and self-fund The Bitcoin Academy. The 12-week program will take place in Brooklyn for Marcy House residents with the aim to provide the community with all the necessary tools to gain financial independence, inclusion, and literacy in the childhood place of Jay-Z.  It will consist of a series of online and in-person classes focusing on Bitcoin, and the classes will take place twice per week. Notably, the participants of The

E-commerce platform Gander announced today the closing of a $4.2 million seed round co-led by Harlem Capital and Crossbeam Venture Partners. Gander, which collects and embeds user-generated video content into retail sites so shoppers can see what a product looks like in real life, was launched in late 2021. It also has a creator marketplace, which gives brands direct access to the video content. This round adds the startup’s founder Kimiloluwa Fafowora, 26, to the growing list of Black women who have raised $1 million or more in VC funding.

Calaxy, a Black-owned web3 social marketplace, has raised $26 million in strategic funding co-led by Animoca Brands and HBAR Foundation with support from Polygon. This raise follows a $7.5 million seed round in 2021 with investors like Animoca Brands, Red Beard Ventures, ArkStream Capital, NGC Ventures, and Genesis Block Ventures. The seed round also had support from NFL player Ezekiel Elliott, “The Bachelor” Matt James, and former PayPal head of Blockchain Strategy Jonathan Padilla, among others. Calaxy aims to build a new infrastructure that allows content creators, ranging from small influencers to big-time celebrities, to

Five to Nine, which makes event management software, has closed a $4.25 million seed round led by Black Ops Ventures. Other investors in the round include Slack Fund and Cleveland Avenue, with Mike Gamson, Sterling Road, and Concrete Rose Capital as repeat investors. The company’s software lets enterprises plan programs for their employee resource groups, which enable employees who share characteristics or experiences to come together, share resources, and connect. Jasmine Shells and Denise Umubyeyi launched the company in 2018 to help organizations manage, structure, and track employee events, meeting development programs, and Employee Resource Group (ERG) initiatives. “Five to

Lagos and San Francisco-based Klasha has received an additional $2.1 million to complete its $4.5 million seed round. The startup, which provides multiple products for the cross-border commerce space in Africa, raised this new financing from a group of international investors co-led by American Express Ventures, the strategic investment group of American Express. The round also included Global Ventures, the MENA-focused VC that has backed the likes of Tabby, Helium Health, and Paymob. Jess Anuna first founded Klasha in 2018. At the time, the company’s focus was to make it easier for

International calling app Talk360, which enables people to make reliable and affordable calls to any landline or mobile phone worldwide, has secured $4 million in funding as it prepares to launch a new pan-African payment platform in mid-2022. The seed round of funding was led by leading African venture capital investor HAVAÍC, 4Di Capital, and several prominent fintech angel investors. Talk360, a leading Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) player in Africa, enables people to make international calls through its app for a fee. It is built so that only the

Religion of Sports, the media production company founded by Gotham Chopra, Michael Strahan and Tom Brady, has raised $50 million in a Series B funding round led by Shamrock Capital and joined by Elysian Park Ventures and Cerro Capital. The Series B funding round brings the company’s total to $66 million raised over three rounds. Chopra told The Hollywood Reporter that the raise will be used to help “grow the company from the production company model, which is what we have operated in for a long time, to really controlling our own destiny. To really bet

Access to credit is a big problem in Africa. Indicina is building the infrastructure to unlock it. Indicina, the digital lending platform providing analytics-driven credit decisions for lenders based in Lagos, Nigeria, has announced its seed round of $3 million. Berlin-headquartered and pan-European venture capital firm Target Global led the round with participation from Kuda, Kippa, and Edukoya. The firm’s partner Ricardo Schäefer will join Indicina’s board. Greycroft also participated in this round, and so did RV Ventures. What does Indicina do? It builds products using Open Banking so credit providers can approve more people,

In an industry that lacks serious diversity, Timothy Armoo has beaten the odds. He’s launched a startup, raised investment, hired, scaled, and sold his business. He’s done what every aspiring business owner hopes to do – all at the age of 27. But much like many other founders, particularly those from marginalized groups, his journey has been far from smooth sailing. Armoo founded his social media advertising business, Fanbytes, in 2017, with Ambrose Cooke and Mitchell Fasanya, building it up to employ 65 people. What does it do? The London

George Floyd, 46, died May 25, 2020, after Derek Chauvin, who is white, pinned him to the ground with a knee on his neck as the victim repeatedly said he could not breathe. Chauvin pleaded guilty last year to a federal charge of violating Floyd’s civil rights and faces a federal sentence ranging from 20 to 25 years. He was also convicted for the murder of Floyd. Within weeks of the killing, the tech industry began to respond to the racial inequality in the US. By June 2020, more than 200

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