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Serena Williams’s early-stage venture capital firm, Serena Ventures, has raised an inaugural fund of $111 million that will invest in founders with diverse points of view. The achievement comes nine years after she first started the project and has taken on a portfolio of more than 60 angel investments. The investments were all backed by the athlete’s own money. For those who aren’t aware – an angel investor is an individual who uses their own funds to support a start-up company or project. “As an angel investor, you can only

Morgan Stanley’s recent panel discussion to mark Black History Month—featuring three alumni from our in-house accelerator for women and multicultural entrepreneurs—explored issues of access to funding, the Black wealth gap, and other challenges unique to Black founders. The conversation, entitled “A Founder’s Journey: Lessons in Resilience, Vision and Innovation,” moderated by Executive Director LaToya Wilson – included Tiffanie K. Stanard, founder, and CEO of Stimulus, a relationship intelligence SaaS platform that uses data and analytics to simplify how companies make purchasing decisions. B.J. Wiley Williams, founder and CEO of SoHookd, a wellness

Investors will be with you for a long time – and ending the relationship can be harder than getting a divorce, says June Angelides, a business owner, venture capitalist, and columnist. Before we discuss the business tips she’s shared in her most recent FT column. Here’s a breakdown of who she is for those of you who don’t know. Angelides was raised in Lagos, Nigeria where she had an early introduction to entrepreneurship through her family. Her uncle Ben Murray Bruce founded Silverbird, the first cinema in Nigeria. She recalled in an interview

Kiaan Pillay runs Stitch, which offers a B2B application programming interface (API) focused on fintech infrastructure. The founder has announced that Stitch — one of the prominent players building and operating these APIs in Africa — has raised $21 million in Series A funding. The South African API fintech enables businesses to build, optimize, and scale financial products. With its API, developers can connect apps to financial accounts. This allows users to share their transaction history and balances, confirm their identities and initiate payment Per a statement released by the company, it plans

Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, the founder of 1000 Black Voices, said George Floyd’s death was a catalyst to launching her accelerator. She launched the AI and Blockchain program aimed directly at early-stage companies founded by Black entrepreneurs and technologists last year. The partnership between 1000 Blackvoices and the AI marketplace platform, SingularityNet, promised a mix of mentoring, coaching, and funding opportunities to ten businesses from around the world.   She told Forbes in an interview that the immediate global response to the death of George Floyd was mainly focused on the need to

Plug In South LA has announced its third tech accelerator program focused on Black and Latinx communities. The benefits of the tech accelerator will include potential grants of up to $40,000 and possible seed investments and pilot partnerships. Mentors in the program will include leaders and executives from the California Health Care Foundation, Courtside Ventures, RareBreed Ventures, and Zeal Capital Partners, among others. “We are keen to help Founders secure capital and investment plus help them leverage the LA start ecosystem to develop traction and momentum around their company,” notes Derek Smith, founder of

Nathaniel Wade studied to be an engineer before he dived into the entrepreneurial route. He first started off with a property investment business before going on to launch what he believes will be a leading platform for amplifying Black businesses. Wade, 30, launched Wakuda, also dubbed the ‘Amazon’ or ‘Etsy’ for Black businesses with his long-time friend Albert Larter back in September 2020 during the pandemic. This was a time when thousands in the UK were furloughed, some were let go and others were forced to close the doors to

PAPS, a Senegal-based logistics, and delivery company fills this gap in its region by offering customers various logistics services. First launched by Bamba Lo in 2016 to provide end-to-end logistics solutions for businesses with offline and online operations – the company has gone from strength to strength in the last few years. On Wednesday – it announced a $4.5 million pre-Series A round to expand its tech-enabled logistics solution across the Francophone region. The round was co-led by pan-African venture capital firm 4DX Ventures and regional telecom operator Orange. Also participating in

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