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Working in venture capital after business school, Kelly Ifill has seen how difficult it can be for Black entrepreneurs to raise money through the earliest rounds of fundraising, known as the friends and family round, designed to help fledgling startups get off the ground. As the cozy term suggests, founders are expected to secure investments ranging from $10,000 to $150,000 from trusted, well-heeled contacts to serve as seed money before moving on to more significant investments from angel and institutional investors. But it’s not always easy for some groups to

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

According to Zion Market Research, the digital mental health market was valued at $1.4 billion (£1.1billion) in 2017 and is projected to reach $4.6 billion in 2026. Still, it has often been claimed that many of these apps do not cater to the specific challenges that Black, Indigenous, and people of color face. That’s why we’ve dug a bit deeper to find the apps that put inclusion and diversity at the forefront of their mission and have a mission to ensure everyone gets support. Therapy for Black Girls  Therapy for

After weeks of speculation about a leaked draft opinion that indicated that abortion would no longer be guaranteed as a federal right but instead left up to the states to decide, the United States Supreme Court has officially overturned Roe v. Wade. The move will allow more than half of states to ban abortion, with an immediate and enduring impact on tens of millions of Americans. The court decided there is no constitutional right to abortion in a case called Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization. In reaching that decision, the conservative-majority

Megan Thee Stallion has officially won her battle to trademark “Hot Girl Summer,” which had been used to promote clothing, music, and even food, without her approval. In a recent interview with Allure, the rapper explained that she didn’t know the phrase was “gonna catch on how it did,” and saw its value as corporations started to use the phrase on social media. “When I saw Wendy’s and Forever 21 saying, ‘Hey, are you having a Hot Girl Summer?’ I was like, ‘Hell no, Forever 21, you’re going to have to pay

In 2020, there was an outpouring of support for the Black community from the games industry, ranging from donations, and statements in support of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, to promotions of inclusion programs. And while some firms have undoubtedly taken these lessons on board to build a better workplace going forward, the discourse has quietly moved on; for some companies, the BLM movement was only performative. One of the most extensive studies of racial representation in games was a 2009 study that analyzed 150 of the most popular titles. Black characters comprised 10.7%

Parfait, an AI and facial recognition-powered beauty technology focused on providing custom wig products to consumers, announced today a $5 million Seed round led by Upfront Ventures and Serena Ventures. Millions of Black women waste exorbitant amounts of money and time on difficult-to-install hair products that don’t properly fit or match their skin tone. While the market for manufactured hair wigs is expected to grow to $13.3 billion by 2026 according to Arizton, innovations to the products and services remain stagnant—until now.  According to its founders, Parfait is uniquely suited to

Buy now pay later (BNPL)—a short-term consumer financing that allows shoppers to purchase products online and pay in installments with nominal or no fees—is sweeping the global e-commerce sector. In Africa, BNPL is beginning to take shape with CredPal, one of the earliest pioneers of buy now, pay later in Nigeria, closing a bridge round of $15 million in equity and debt — the latter constituting a very large chunk of the financing — to expand its consumer credit offerings across Africa. The Y Combinator- and Google-backed CredPal allows individuals

Melissa Pegus has been chosen as the Managing Director for Techstars Atlanta Powered by J.P. Morgan, the latest accelerator to open up in the city.  The new program, backed by an $80 million investment by J.P. Morgan, will support diverse entrepreneurs across the country. While the program is open to founders of all backgrounds, it is designed to provide equitable access to funding and support for Black, Hispanic and Latino, Indigenous American, and Pacific Islander entrepreneurs. In the first half of 2021, Black entrepreneurs received just 1.2 percent of U.S. venture capital funding. Additional data show

Last week, Yep!, a “financial super app” with payments, remittance, and banking features, announced that it has raised $1.5 million in a pre-seed round led by pan-African VC Greenhouse Capital. The San Francisco- and Lagos-headquartered startup was started by Olaoluwa Awojoodu, who then teamed up with Airende Ojeomogha and Garry Ottosen to start Yep!. The startup plans to go live across the five markets where E-Settlement is present, serving digital financial services to consumers, small business owners, and merchants. They also have a mission to enhance financial inclusion by leveraging PayCentre Africa — the startup’s agent banking platform, to

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