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Black-owned beauty and tech company Mayvenn has announced that it raised $40 million in a Series C funding round. Leading investments came from Chicago-based venture fund Cleveland Avenue, with participation from the Growth Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management and a 16z. Mayvenn allows consumers to search for and book hair stylists in their local area. Stylists are able to operate their businesses on the platform, including selling products and marketing their salon-based services. The company says it is now home to over 50,000 hair stylists across the country.

London and Kenyan-based educational entertainment company, Kukua, has raised $6 million in its latest investment round. The funding round was co-led by world-leading technology company Tencent and Italy-based VC Alchimia and included participation from EchoVC, Firstminute Capital, and Auxxo Female Catalyst.  Kukua, co-founded by Alexandre Terrien and Lucrezia Bisignani in 2015, uses technology to create magical learning experiences for children centered around a universe of superhero characters. The company is best known for creating the first-ever African animated superhero series, ‘Super Sema,’ and aims to empower the children of the

Minority-owned early-stage cannabis fund, JourneyOne Ventures, has closed a $10 million fund to invest in businesses within the growing cannabis industry. The fund includes a range of investors like Paul Bown, founder of Bowen; Elizabeth Yin, general partner at Hustle Fund; Eric Manlunas, general partner at Wavemaker Partners and Fred Kang, a former partner at Andreessen Horowitz.  JourneyOne Ventures, founded in 2017 by Helene Servillon, is committed to building a community of genuinely talented entrepreneurs. The investment company, 100% women-led and minority-owned, invests in bold performers within the cannabis industry

Founder and CEO of mental health tech startup MindRight Health, Ashley Edwards, has raised $1.78 million in seed funding. The funding round led by investment platform Lifeforce Capital included existing investors Acumen America and Impact America Fund. New investors included Hopelab Ventures, Gaingels and Impact Assets, and Pivotal Ventures.  Edwards previously raised $1 million for MindRight Health in 2020. In doing so, became one of only 35 Black women in the US, and was reportedly the first Black woman in New Jersey, to achieve this level of VC funding. This

Ukonwa Kuzi-Orizu Ojo has stepped down as Chief Marketing Officer for Prime Video and Amazon Studios, the company announced earlier this week. During her time at the organization, Ojo was responsible for leading the global brand and power-headed original marketing for the streamer. In addition, she led marketing campaigns for popular movies like “Coming 2 America” and “The Boys.” Using machine learning and human intuition, Ojo also helped keep Amazon in the conversation as a competitive streaming platform, raising the bar for direct-to-streaming film releases and helping them reach a more

Businessman and investor Baron Davis has announced his partnership with Hennessy for their “Never Stop Never Settle Society” campaign. The serial entrepreneur and former NBA player is set to join the team as a board member and hopes to use his experiences to help champion Black entrepreneurs.  The initiative, launched by the famous liquor brand in 2021, works to accelerate the growth of Black business owners across the US. The $1 million campaign, which Hennessy developed in partnership with talent development platform Marcus Graham Project, provides 20 Black entrepreneurs with

Black-owned food waste startup, Goodr, has closed $8 million in their latest round of financing. The funding round, led by venture capital firm, Precursor Ventures, included investment firm Collab Capital, Emerson Collective, Backstage Capital, Innovations for Impact, Kimbal, Telus Pollinator Fund, and a series of other private angel investors. This round brings Goodr’s total funding to $9.4 million. The Atlanta-based startup, founded by Jasmine Crowe in 2017, works to feed people who may experience food insecurity. The community first focused on helping feed a small number of people experiencing homelessness

Dragon’s Den star Steven Bartlett is seeking “fledgling entrepreneurs” to take part in a secret BBC show. The Social Chain co-founder has called on business leaders in the e-commerce world to participate. Mr. Bartlett is working on the project with BBC Studios but has kept quiet on the finer details. In a message posted on LinkedIn, the entrepreneur said applications have to be free to be filmed on July 8, 2022, between 8 am and 5 pm in East London. He added anyone who is interested should e-mail businessg@bbc.co.uk. Mr. Bartlett

Edlyft is taking the $100 million diversity and inclusion tech market by storm. The edtech startup, founded by longtime friends Erika Hairston and Arnelle Ansong in 2020, provides support for college students and adult learners in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) courses. Their mission is to provide the right environment and tools for the next generation of engineers to succeed and, hopefully, get one step closer to closing the gender gap in STEM. Their digital platform connects learners to inclusive mentorship, online group tutoring, live and recorded sessions, and personalized study

Olympian Allyson Felix‘s footwear brand Saysh, co-founded by her brother and business partner Wes Felix,  has secured an $8 million investment in its series A funding round.  The funding round led by Iris Ventures, with participation from Redpoint Ventures saw Gap Inc. acquire an equity stake in Saysh. Additionally, Athleta, a subsidiary of Gap Inc., has agreed to showcase Saysh footwear on their website in partnership with the footwear brand. The news comes after Allyson Felix announced her departure from Nike in 2021, due to claims the company was not doing enough to support pregnant female athletes and

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