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Startups

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,

Black-led fintech startup, Moove, raises $20 million in investment funding from the British International Investment (BII) program, formerly known as the CDC. The investment reflects the BII’s plans to build a resilient market in Nigeria, providing access to various economic opportunities for upcoming businesses while simultaneously accelerating the country’s limitless entrepreneurial spirit. Moove, co-founded by Jidi Odunsi and Ladi Delano in 2020, is a mobility fintech platform that provides revenue-based vehicle financing to mobility entrepreneurs across Africa. The co-founders, both British-born Nigerians with degrees from the London School of Economics

African-based distribution platform, Afrikamart, has raised $850,000 in seed funding. The funding round, led by Bloc Smart Africa and managed by Bamboo Capital Partners, saw a range of investors participate, including Bamboo Capital Partners, Orange Ventures, Launch Africa, and Teranga Capital.   Afrikamart, co-founded by Albert Diouf and Mignane Diouf in 2018, is a digital distribution platform that works to provide services to farmers. The brothers launched the tech platform to address farmers’ problems with poor market access and late payment from intermediaries using technology to collect products from thousands of

Black-led communication startup, Simpu, has launched its first-ever omnichannel inbox, allowing businesses to interact with customers through various social channels. The omnichannel inbox will not only enable companies to communicate with their consumers in a range of mediums, but it also allows them to diverge away from the traditional customer support channels, which primarily focus on phone, email, or chat support.  Collins Iheagwara co-founded Simpu with Kolawole Balogun and Tioluwani Kolawole in 2020, which was designed to help business owners unify all their communication channels through an automated workflow. The

Minority-owned early-stage cannabis fund, JourneyOne Ventures, has closed a $10 million fund to invest in businesses within the growing cannabis industry. The fund includes a range of investors like Paul Bown, founder of Bowen; Elizabeth Yin, general partner at Hustle Fund; Eric Manlunas, general partner at Wavemaker Partners and Fred Kang, a former partner at Andreessen Horowitz.  JourneyOne Ventures, founded in 2017 by Helene Servillon, is committed to building a community of genuinely talented entrepreneurs. The investment company, 100% women-led and minority-owned, invests in bold performers within the cannabis industry

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