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Startups

Changing the continent’s narrative will entail solving old problems while also harnessing the power of new technologies, says Akintoye Akindele, a serial entrepreneur and investor on a mission to build a new Africa. Akindele is also the chairman of Platform Capital, a venture capital outfit that invests in tech companies across the world, but mostly in Africa. In May 2022, Platform Capital announced an investment in Zuri Health, a company that connects patients with affordable healthcare services via SMS, WhatsApp, and a dedicated app. Speaking ahead of receiving the African

The Google for Startups Latino Founders Fund is a $5 million fund that provides promising U.S. Latinx-led startups non-equity cash awards to help fuel their businesses. Google announced the fund last year as part of its $15 million commitment to economic equity for Latinx people in the U.S. Across the country, 50 founders will each receive $100,000 in cash to help grow their business. They’ll also receive hands-on support from Google employees across the company, $100,000 in Google Cloud credits, and access to therapy to support founders emotionally and professionally.

Earlier this year, on February 13th, Sporting Lagos FC played its first-ever football match, which ended in a draw. The club, which currently plays in the Nigerian National League, the country’s second tier, is the brainchild of Shola Akinlade, co-founder and CEO of financial technology company Paystack, which he says was acquired for more than $200 million in 2020 by Irish American financial services company Stripe. Akinlade says he intends for Sporting Lagos to be a platform for community development and social change. But managing a football club in Nigeria is often

Instagram has partnered with Brooklyn Museum and writer Antwaun Sargent to debut this year’s #BlackVisionaries program. The initiative, designed to help invest in and support Black talent, will include a grant of $650,000. The support program, co-founded by the social media giant, writer Antwaun Sargent and the Brooklyn Museum in 2021, is designed to help uplift and champion underrepresented voices within the creative industry. Last year, five Black designers and Black-led small design businesses were awarded $205,000 in grants last year. The funding allowed each participant to pursue their biggest

Danish investment firm, Unconventional Ventures (UV), recently announced the launch of their new fund of €30 million (approx. $30.5 million) to support underrepresented founders across Europe. The fund was launched by UV to get more money into the pockets of “unconventional founders,” will work to address the lack of diversity in Europe’s start-up ecosystem. Nora Bavey, Tea Messel, and Bradley Leimer co-founded UV in 2017 with the aim of shaking up Europe’s VC space for good. The team, which has formed an extensive pool of diverse investors and advisors, will

Founder of Beauty Concepts, Cydnie Lunsford, has filed a lawsuit against Kim Kardashian after alleging that the business owner stole the name of her salon service named SKKN+. Black-owned beauty business, SKNN+ was founded by Cyndie Lunsford almost four years ago and offers women a wide range of aesthetic body products. The brand provides a hands-on transformative experience to all clients and helps them embrace new and healthier skincare habits. In 2018, Lunsford trademarked the name of her business just two days before Kim Kardashian made it to the trademark

Black-founded startups recently saw record amounts of investment, with quarterly funding commitments nearing or even topping $1 billion. But according to new data from Crunchbase, venture capital funding has dropped significantly in the second quarter of 2022, down to just $324 million. So far in 2022, only 100 U.S. startups with a Black founder have received funding, with $100 million invested in seed rounds, $591 million in early-stage rounds, and approximately $876 million in later-stage rounds. Startups with at least one Black founder received 1.9% of deal counts and 1.2% of

NFL Star Jonathan Taylor has invested $6 million into Sports Tech company Strive in a Series A funding round. The funding round, led by venture capital firm, Future Communities Capital, included a range of investors, including SeaChange Fund and Seed to B Capital. NFL quarterback Troy Smith and Jonathan Taylor were new investors who also participated. Strive, founded by Nikola Mrvaljevic in 2016, aims to provide accurate muscle data to athletes and teams. Mrvaljevic decided to launch the company after seeing that college coaches welcomed his ideas on using data

The National Football League has announced its partnership with Ice Cube’s Contract With Black America Institute (CWBA) to support Black-owned businesses and increase diversity amongst NFL vendors. In addition, the partnership aims to boost the economic equity within Black communities by tackling the wealth gap and offering various opportunities in the financial, tech, and production sectors. The CWBA was launched in 2020 by rapper, actor, and filmmaker Ice Cube, alongside his business partner and entertainment lawyer, Jeff Kwatinetz, and works to address the systemic racism in the sports industry. In

Children’s social media platform Zigazoo has raised $17 million in Series A funding. Liberty City Ventures led the funding round, which included the National Basketball Association (NBA), Causeway Capital Management, Dapper Labs, OneFootball, Medici VC, Animoca Brands, and Lightspeed Venture Partners.  Zigazoo, founded by Zak Ringelstein in 2020, has become one of the leading platforms for children’s short-form videos. The digital program, which has recently launched a non-fungible token (NFT) collection, aims to provide children with a safe and positive community where they can find joy, develop healthy online relationships,

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