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Black-owned fintech startup, Guava, has closed a pre-seed funding round of $2.4 million. The funding round, which Heron Rock led, also included investment firm Ruthless for Good Fund, Precursor Ventures, Backstage Capital, and angel investors Lexi Reese and Ed Zimmerman.  Guava, founded in 2021 by Kelly Ifill, helps Black-owned businesses bank and build community. The banking and networking platform works to close the racial wealth gap by aiding small Black companies and creators with the tools needed to scale and grow their businesses.  The digital platform, which is yet to

Billionaire philanthropist Robert F. Smith recently announced the launch of the Student Freedom Initiative, a program designed to provide paid internships to HBCU students.   Robert F. Smith will launch the Student Freedom Initiative’s HELPS Program in partnership with financial regulation company Prudential Finance. The partnership will address Black students’ disproportionate financial loan burden, which often hinders their career progression. The program aims to provide science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) HBCU students with $1.8 million in microgrants, which will act as a contingent fund alongside their traditional college loans.  Robert F. Smith, famously known

Black-owned serverless startup, Baselime, has raised $1.5M in pre-seed funding. The funding round, which Sequoia Capital led, also included venture capital firms Antler, Forward Partners, and Octopus Ventures.  The London-based company, founded in 2021 by Boris Tane, works to reduce the challenges developers often experience. Businesses can embrace automated observability ecosystems through their platform, which is highly beneficial for remote teams.  The platform also claims to offer highly flexible technology at a reduced cost by encouraging developers to run applications and manage servers on behalf of customers without needing to

“I got my job through Twitter 🎉” I never thought that I’d be the one saying those words. I’ve always seen posts of people from tech Twitter who have shared that they got a job on Twitter or that online presence helped them secure a job. Little did I know that I would be a witness to this too. Welcome to all, and thank you for taking your time to read about my journey of how I got into tech, the challenges I’ve faced, the resources I’ve used, how I

WNBA star turned software engineer, Neisha Butler, recently announced the opening of her educational center, S.T.E.A.M. Champs in New York, dedicated to kickstarting Brooklyn kids’ learning development in coding, robotics, and app development.  The educational center in Downton Brooklyn specializes in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM). The establishment aims to nurture future industry leaders by giving them a head start in reading data and developing solutions to complex problems, all necessary skills needed to help kickstart their future careers.  “We’re excited to bring quality STEM curriculum to the Brooklyn and

Njeri Muhia teamed up with Steven Wamathai to shake up the VC industry. In a sector where VC and startup relationships are formal, the pair said that they hope to have relaxed connections with founders. After spending years in London, matching Kenyans in the diaspora with investment opportunities back home, and later on as a credit portfolio manager at Barclays bank, Muhia sought a greater challenge within Africa. Together with Wamathai, who has vast experience in the investment management industry during the middle of last year, they started an early-stage

There is an ever-growing list of schemes and networks which support diverse and underrepresented founders in Europe’s tech ecosystem. From Czechitas, a non-profit aiming to increase diversity in the tech sector through education and workshop initiatives, to Diverse and Equal — UK, a two-day conference on diversity and inclusion held in Manchester – there’s an increase in communities working on upskilling those from diverse backgrounds, empowering migrants and refugees, and engaging young people in tech. Here’s a list of other initiatives Diversidays — France  This organization promotes social, cultural, and

“Try not to use the word minority, say underprivileged or underserved; otherwise, if you say minority, investors will make certain assumptions.” “What assumptions?” “Oh, you know…” That was an interaction between a first-time Black founder and a white venture capital (VC) investor who was supposed to be advising her. Speaking to POCIT, she said she felt several investors she had spoken to had an unconscious bias towards her as a founder and the audience she was targeting. While she understood POC markets were ‘small’ in her native country – on

Tech giant, Meta, has seen an unexpected increase in diverse hires since expanding its remote working options.  Facebook, also known as Meta, is one of many companies that have introduced new remote working options for its employees following the pandemic. As a result, between 2021 and 2022, the tech company reported a slight increase in the share of Black, Hispanic, and Asian employees joining its US workforce, while the proportion of white workers dropped by 1.5%.  According to Facebook’s Chief Diversity Officer, Maxine Williams, employees from underrepresented backgrounds and people

Africa-focused investment firm, Persistent Energy, has raised $10 million in its Series C funding to help support the renewable energy sector in Africa. The funding round, led by Kyuden International Corporation and FSD Africa Investments, also saw private investors Kotaro Tamura, BK Ventures BV, and DPI Energy Ventures participate.  Persistent Energy, founded over a decade ago, is a pioneer investor in Africa’s renewable sector. The investment firm works to support and build businesses that can “scale sustainably.” They provide financial capital for startups and allow their team members to work

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