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Crypto payments infrastructure firm MoonPay received $87 million from an array of celebrities as part of its $555 million Series A round including Drake and Snoop Dogg. The Miami-headquartered startup received a $3.4 billion valuation after closing its Series A funding round last November. The investment was led by Coatue and Tiger Global Management. The firm provides payment infrastructure to let people exchange fiat currencies and crypto using all traditional payment methods, such as debit and credit cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay. MoonPay has previously acted as a kind of “concierge” for

After securing $32 million in a Series A funding round back in February, Canela Media became one of the largest funded Latino-owned companies. The  New York-based digital media technology company was launched in 2019 in an effort to cater to Latino and Spanish-speaking communities and it claims to currently reach more than 50 million unique Hispanic viewers across its over 180 premium Spanish-language websites.  Canela’s streaming-video app, Canela.TV, is entirely free and supported by ads. Its app, which was launched in 2020, offers on-demand licensed and original shows, as well as

During Joanna Smith-Griffin’s time at Excel Academy Charter Schools in Boston, working as a student engagement director, she noticed the glaring truancy her school suffered from and became determined to do something about it. That’s when she realized something seriously needed to be done and she launched ‘All Here. Smith’s company is an edtech curbing chronic absenteeism in K-12 schools with mobile messaging powered by article intelligence (AI). On the startup’s website, it says: “We foster student success using mobile messaging powered by artificial intelligence. Our AllHere Advisor (AHA) communicates 24/7 via automated

The Black News Channel, a cable news station focused on serving Black viewers, ceased operations on Friday afternoon after its billionaire backer declined to provide more funding for the startup. Now it’s currently under fire after former network employees took to social media to claim they were blindsided when operations were stopped abruptly. They also claim they have been waiting weeks for their final paychecks, just to be told they would not be receiving them as promised. Founded by former GOP congressman J.C. Watts back in 2020, the network was

Imalipay, which describes itself as a one-stop-shop financial services platform, has closed a $3 million seed in debt and equity round. The fintech raised an $800,000 pre-seed round in 2020. It was launched in late 2020 by Tatenda Furusa and Oluwasanmi Akinmusire after Furusa noticed the challenges ride-hailing drivers faced when accessing working capital or emergencies like running out of fuel in Nairobi. COO Akinmusire and Furusa met while working at Cellulant before starting ImaliPay. They received funding from Google Black Founders Fund last October before closing this seed round, which welcomed participation from Leonnis Investments.

Frustrated by the lack of inaction by many traditional VCs, some investors are trying to change the system and close the funding gap. Here we have a list of investors who are mobilizing and deploying capital, building economic power beyond the 1%. While not all of these VCs are 100% focused on funding underrepresented founders, they say they are inclusive and intentional about investing in founders who are women, Black, Indigenous, People of Color, LGBTQ+, over 50, and people with disabilities.  The majority of the list, first created by Allyson

Hive Wealth by Impart Media, a community-first mobile app that helps people grow their wealth and leave a legacy for future generations, officially announced it received $600K in funding from Black Tech Nation Ventures. Through Black Tech Nation Ventures, Hive Wealth is now able to address massive financial inequalities that millions of people of color in the USA experience. “We are thrilled to announce Black Tech Nation Ventures as our first institutional investor,” said Yvette Butler, founder of Hive Wealth. “BTN Ventures and Hive Wealth share a common mission of building generational wealth. We are excited

Amazon Alexa Fund and Alexa Startups have teamed up to open the application round for Black Founders Build with Alexa, a remote four-month program for a cohort of up to 10 Black-founded startups located in North America that demonstrate readiness and ability to deliver novel Alexa integration within the program duration. Each company selected for the program will have an opportunity to receive up to a $100,000 investment from the Alexa Fund and individualized technology support from the Alexa Startups Solution Architect and Business Development teams. Founders will receive invitations

Founder of femtech startup Ruby Love, Crystal Etienne, joined forces with her husband, Jean, last year to start VC firm CaJE, a VC that focuses on investing in “soil” rounds, similar to a family and friends investing round. Crystal’s own startup has raised $15 million since it was founded in 2016. She bootstrapped the company from its humble beginnings to over $10 million within two years.  But she still felt “cajed” many times while entering the new industry with very little help along the way, but overcame every obstacle. Jean ran his

Churpy, a Kenyan fintech startup, has secured a $1 million seed round led by Unicorn Growth Capital. Also participating were Antler East Africa, Nairobi’s business angel network, and a group of Rally Cap LPs. The round will be used to support expansion to Egypt, Nigeria, and South Africa. The startup said it wants to transform how businesses manage the debt owed to them by their customers through its Software as a service (SaaS) product – which automates the labor-intensive processes of reconciling incoming payments and invoices that are still predominantly manual for most local

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