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Startups

“If I have to choose between building my tennis resumé and building my family, I choose the latter.”  World acclaimed tennis player Serena Williams recently announced in an interview with Vogue that she would be stepping away from tennis and “evolving away from the sport,” – so what does the future look like for Williams?  Two years ago, Serena Williams launched her first-ever venture capital firm, Serena Ventures. Williams has used her platform to invest in early-stage companies and has also carried out five exits valued at over $100 million. 

Talent x Opportunity has announced the launch of its third cohort. The initiative, designed to support artistic geniuses with the tools they need to scale and grow, welcomed a new set of founders for this year’s program.  The TxO program, founded by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (known as “a16z”), works to help accelerate the growth and impact of upcoming tech companies. They select elite entrepreneurs and prepare them with the ideal tools to build and expand their companies.  Here are five founders joining the TxO community in Fall 2022. 

Lagos-based utility company, Beacon Power Services, has closed a seed round of $2.7 million. The funding round led by Seedstars African also saw venture capital firms Keeple Africa Ventures, Factor[e], and Ordiun Capital Management participate in the funding round.  Beacon Power Services, founded in 2013 by Bimbola Adisa, is a leading provider of data and grid management solutions for Africa’s power sector. The platform, established to address Nigeria’s inadequate electricity supply, aims to enhance energy access for Africa’s cities significantly. Beacon Power’s primary goal is to improve the quality and duration of electricity

Miami-based cybersecurity startup, Lumu, has closed an $8 million investment round. The funding round led by Panoramic Ventures also included SoftBank Group’s SB Opportunity Fund, KnowBe4 Ventures, Land Bess, a former Zscaler, and Tom Noonan, former CEO at Internet Security Systems.  Lumu, founded in 2019 by Ricardo Villadiego, is a cybersecurity company that helps businesses identify and isolate cyber-compromise in real-time. The platform identifies and isolates potential threats, attacks, and adversaries affecting enterprises. As more nation-state criminal groups continue targeting everything from business IP to government secrets, Lumu’s services have proven to

Digital investment platform, Stackwell Capital, has raised $3.5 million. The funding round was led by Michael Gordan, president of Fenway Sports Group, Jeremy Sclar, and The Kraft Group. Venture capital firm Shea Ventures, SSC Venture Partners, Shorehaven Wealth Partners, and Theo Epstein, a consultant to Major League Baseball, also participated in the funding round.  Stackwell Capital, founded in 2021 by Trevor Rozier-Byrd, is a digital investment platform created to eliminate the racial wealth gap by empowering a new community of Black investors. In addition, the platform works to provide Black

Black Business Month has officially arrived.  To kickstart this month, online marketplace, FLOURYSH, has announced its partnership with e-commerce platform, Shopify, to help elevate 1 million Black-owned businesses, providing them with the necessary tools needed to scale and grow.  The FLOURYSH x Shopify partnerships aim to address the lack of access to information, a common setback for aspiring entrepreneurs. According to the press release, Black business owners receive a 120-day free trial on the e-commerce platform. “The partnership came to be because of our continued commitment to providing resources and

Black-owned digital marketplace, Clutch, has raised $1.2 million in a pre-seed investment fund. The funding round which Precursor Ventures led also included Capital Factory and HearstLab.  Clutch, co-founded in 2020 by Madison Long and Simone May, is a digital marketplace for emerging brands and creators. According to the outlet, Long and May built the platform to provide a space where creators can launch, market, and grow their side hustles. Clutch works to create a world where authentic, engaging work supports a more sustainable, equitable lifestyle. As a people-first platform, creators

California-based VC firm, L’Attitude, has launched its new fund to support early-stage Latino founders.  The investment firm raised $100 million from big-name investors, including Bank of America, Trujillo Group, Barclays, Cisco, Royal Bank of Canada, and a “strategic anchor investment” from JPMorgan Chase.  According to the outlet, Latino business owners have grown 34% over the last decade. Yet, despite this, 72% of Latino entrepreneurs face funding shortfalls, with a large majority relying on personal savings, and only 1.8% are venture-backed.  L’Attitude, founded in 2019 by Kennie Blanco and Sol Trujillo,

The Black Girl Magic Digital summit, which has returned for its fourth consecutive year of programming, will allow small-business female-owned entrepreneurs to qualify for a prize pool of $100,000 in grants.  The summit, produced by Boss Women Media production, aims to educate, empower, and equip Black women. The summit’s goal will be to celebrate and support thousands of global attendees, including a network of corporate professionals, entrepreneurs, and student changemakers.   “We are on a mission to provide Black women with the tools and education they need to take the next

POC-led embedded integration platform, Paragon, has raised $13 million in a Series A funding round led by Inspired Capital Partners. The funding round also included investors FundersClub and Garuda Ventures. Paragon, founded in 2019 by Ishmael Samuel and Brandon Foo, provides customers with a seamless, self-service experience that fits within the users’ existing workflow. The program, which is still relatively new in the market, has helped several companies integrate with different SaaS apps in a matter of minutes. The platform’s vision is to build a connecting layer for all software

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