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Fundraising

Google and Visible Hands, a two-year-old venture capital (VC) firm dedicated to helping underrepresented founders, announced on Tuesday they would jointly conduct a program to help Latino entrepreneurs build new businesses. The program will make a considerable impact given that Latino founders accounted for only 3.9 percent of the venture capital invested in Boston between 2015 and August of 2020, according to a report by Crunchbase. While this percentage is higher than in California (1.2 percent) and New York (2.2 percent), it is still a long way from being representative. Yasmin Cruz

Deborah Gladney and Angela Muhwezi-Hall are the sister duo and creators behind QuickHire, a hiring platform that connects workers to service and skilled-trade jobs. In November, QuickHire raised $1.41 million in an oversubscribed round of funding, making Gladney and Muhwezi-Hall the first Black women in Kansas to raise over $1 million for a startup, according to AfroTech. The round is a pretty big deal because Black female startup founders received just 0.34% of the total $147 billion in venture capital invested in U.S. startups through the first half of 2021, according to Crunchbase. QuickHire,

Tiffany James, 27, started Modern BLK Girl after turning an initial $10,000 investment into $2 million. But her success is partly down to one colleague who decided to pass on the baton of knowledge. James had left school with a degree and student loan debt which had her struggling, and for a while, she wasn’t sure how she was going to get out of it. The turning point came in 2019 when a co-worker suggested that she buy stock in a company named Tesla when shares were between $60 and $70.

Cayaba Care, a maternity health startup, has announced the closing of a $12 million Series A round that will work to expand the company’s footprint within underserved populations. The funding will be used to increase staff, launch in additional markets, and further invest in technology solutions that will increase access to much-needed holistic maternity services. Seae Ventures and Kapor Capital led the Series A round and new investors include Wellington Partners, Citi Impact Fund and Rhia Ventures. Founded in 2020 with a mission to improve community outcomes by reimagining how maternity and pediatric care is delivered, Cayaba

First National Bank has announced that it’s making a $2.5 million equity commitment to Black Tech Nation Ventures, a majority Black-owned VC fund based in Pittsburgh, which provides funding and resources for Black-led technology startups and firms with diverse founders. The investment is part of FNB’s broader commitment to promoting economic equality. Launched in 2021, the BTN venture fund is more than halfway to its initial $50 million fundraising goal. The VC intends to build a portfolio of 20 to 30 early-stage tech companies that have diverse founding teams and focus on

CarePoint, a Black-owned technology-driven healthcare startup that seeks to make healthcare accessible, has just raised a $10 million bridge round to accelerate its growth across Africa. How does it work? Patients are able to access care virtually through CarePoint’s MyCareMobile app, which links them to diverse services through teleconferencing, including consultations with their doctors, test results, and 24-hour emergency response. The funding round was led by TRB Advisors and brings the total funding raised by CarePoint to $30 million. It follows an $18 million Series A round announced in November last year.

Recently, Esusu, a firm that builds the accountability and systems you need to save more, joined the list of growing Black-led startups that have hit the $1 billion valuation mark and it got me thinking…how many of you know that there are quite a few unicorns that have been led by Black founders or CEOs? So here’s a small but mighty list that might act as a source of inspiration to you. Firstly – a “Unicorn” is a venture capital term used to describe firms that have achieved a valuation of more than

Recent YC graduate Topship has raised a $2.5 million seed round months after concluding the recent YC winter batch with Flexport as its lead investor. Other backers include Y Combinator, Soma Capital, Starling Ventures, Olive Tree Capital, Capital X and True Capital. The individual investors in the round include Immad Akhund, Mercury CEO and Arash Ferdowsi, co-founder of Dropbox. Topship is considered a borderline local and international shipping solution between digital freight and e-commerce fulfillment.  It was founded in 2020 during the pandemic when co-founder and CEO Moses Enenwali reportedly noticed a surge in merchants’ needs for

Donald Boone, CEO of BoxedUp, an equipment rental company, started the company back in 2019. He would spend hours and even days packaging orders himself with dozens of equipment lying around his family home. Now he runs a three-person company that’s got $2.3M in funding. The 30-something-year-old Maryland native had the realization that in order to make an impact on his community- he needed to find a way to pursue entrepreneurship full time. After a corporate career in engineering, a failed startup, and a career at Amazon, he’s found a

Identitypass today announced that it has raised $2.8 million in seed funding, months after graduating from Y Combinator. The round also comes a few months after the startup raised $360,000 in pre-seed investment last November, bringing its total funding to $3.1 million.   The startup, launched in 2021, is focused on making it possible for digital businesses in Africa to easily verify their customers within seconds. It’s a simple compliance and data security platform that allows online businesses to easily verify and confirm a transacting party’s identity using existing forms of identification. Identitypass

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