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Startups

Businesses in the US and Canada can now self-identify as Black-owned on Tripadvisor. The world’s largest travel guidance company decided to launch the new feature after research showed that 77% of Black-owned businesses and 63% of Hispanic/Latinx-owned businesses actively use their platform.   Tripadvisor aims to use the data gathered on its users to help make accommodation providers and restaurants-owners feel safe and welcomed on the platform.  Now more than ever, it is crucial that POC-led businesses get the recognition they deserve to help amplify their voice and make their businesses

Google has announced that 60 new startups would join their Black Founders Fund, specifically designed to help support Black founders in Africa.  Since launching the program in 2021, Google has invested in 50 startups from nine African countries, creating over 500 jobs and raising over $87 million to help support underrepresented founders.  The Black Founders Fund has invested $20 million in funding to help founders across the US, Europe, Africa, and Brazil. The latest cohort will receive up to $100,000 in capital, including access to the best of Google, people, products,

VC firm, Kapor Capital, announced that it officially raised $125 million in a pre-seed funding round.  The new fund, the platform’s largest to date, has been backed by partners including Cambridge Associates, Align Impact, Ford Foundation, Bank of America, PayPal, and Twilio.  The new funding, which has been ongoing since last year, was raised by the company’s managing partners, Uriridiakoghene “Ulili” Onovakpuri and Brian Dixon, as part of Kapor Capital’s new leadership.  The Oakland-based venture capital firm founded in 2011 by Mitch Kapor and Freada Kapor has actively worked to bridge

Yesterday, JusticeText announced they had closed a $2.2 million seed funding round. The funding round led by Bloomberg Beta, True Ventures, and Reid Hoffman included investors John Legend and Michael Tubbs.  JusticeText, co-founded by Devshi Mehrotra and Leslie Jones-Dove in 2019, is a software platform that aims to help build more transparency around criminal proceedings.  The idea to develop JusticeText stemmed from a class project both Jones-Dove and Mehrotra worked on during their time at university.  After witnessing the death of Trayvon Martin, both founders felt their system would be a more proactive solution to solving

Black-owned professional network, Black British City Group (BBCG), has launched its flagship City Booster program, designed to help support the growth of Black founders.  Through BBCG’s City Booster program, Black entrepreneurs not only be eligible for grants of up to £3,000 but will also have access to coaching opportunities and skill-based workshops to help them elevate and grow.  The City Booster program run by BBCG aims to provide mentorship, skills-based workshops, and financial support to Black founders. In addition, the program, which spans nine months, will give Black entrepreneurs exclusive

One young company attracting interest in the field of autonomous driving is Heex Technologies, a POC-led startup offering a “smart data management platform” to help carmakers sift through the sea of data required to put autonomous vehicles on the road.  CEO and co-founder Bruno Mendes Da Silva was initially focused on solving the pollution crisis before this idea. “My original focus was on fighting pollution — I first launched an electric vehicle rental service after an academic exchange in Shanghai. [It was then that] I realized there are more problems

US-based fintech startup Deposits raised $5M in seed funding to develop its platform. The funding round led by ATX Venture Partners also included Cabal Fund, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and others.  The Dallas-based finance startup, co-founded by Joseph Akintolatyo and Daniel Paramo, is a cloud-based fintech platform that helps credit unions, community banks, insurers, retailers, and brands seamlessly implement digital banking tools onto their platforms. The program also allows companies to put together a package of financial features, including mobile apps, debit and credit accounts, virtual cards, peer-to-peer payments, and lending. Akintolatyo and Paramo launched Deposits

Natalie Madeira Cofield, the assistant administrator for the Office of Women Business Ownership at the US Small Business Administration (SBA), has stepped down from her role to pursue a new venture.  Cofield, recognized as one of the high-ranking Black women in the president’s administration, was also the first Black woman to hold that position and head a female business ownership office.  According to Bloomberg, the Executive Director of the National Women’s Business Council Tene Dolphin praised Cofield for her hard work in a recent statement.  “Her tireless efforts during her tenure

Black-owned blockchain platform, Lumachain, has raised $28.3 million in a Series A funding round.  The funding round, which VC Bessemer Venture Partners led, will help the organization revolutionize how beef, chicken, and pork products are produced globally.  Perseverance, hard work, and ambition Lumachain is a testament to the perseverance, hard work, and ambition of its founder, Jamila Gordon. Gordan, who was selected as one of the world’s most inspiring and influential women in 2021, has won significant accolades for her work in the industry. Not only was Gordons selected as

A new Chicago Business Bulletin report has revealed that not enough has been done to support Black and Latinx startups.  Compared to other top startup ecosystems, Chicago has higher share capital deals. Additionally, Chicago leads significant startup ecosystems in the share of venture capital funding garnered by underrepresented founders.  Since 2019, 5.1% of Black and Latino-founded companies have participated in a venture capital deal, compared to 2.5% nationally.  “This report is intended to raise awareness of the strategic movement underway in Chicago to drive greater, more equitable investment by and among VCs

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