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Venture Capital

Several Black-led venture capital firms have written an open letter in response to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) op-ed which suggests Silicon Valley Bank’s diversity focus contributed to its collapse. Following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, the WSJ published an opinion piece by Kessler in which he stated: “I’m not saying 12 white men would have avoided this mess, but the company may have been distracted by diversity demands.” Black Women in Venture Capital, BLCK VC, 1863 Ventures, and Living Cities wrote an open letter to the Wall Street Journal editors and

The nonprofit social startup digitalundivided has released its latest Project Diane report unveiling the experiences of Latina and Black women tech entrepreneurs. Catalyzing Latina and Black women’s growth Founded in 2012, the Newark-based startup leverages data, programs, and advocacy to catalyze economic growth for Latina and Black women founders at all stages of their entrepreneurial and funding journeys.  In 2016, digitalundivided launched the Project Diane Report, the first biennial demographic study that captures the experiences of Latina and Black women tech founders. “Building on the legacy of women like Diane Nash who worked

Edtech startup Kai XR has raised $1.6 million in seed funding to expand its virtual reality (VR) educational resources to one million kids across the US. Kapor Capital led the oversubscribed round, which included Mitchell Kapor Foundation, American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact, and others. The Oakland-based edtech startup is making education more accessible through inclusive mixed-reality spaces that allow children to explore, create, and learn. From education to innovation Kai Frazier founded Kai XR in 2018. Through her time as an educator in the classroom and in museums,

After days of turmoil, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) customers are now able to access their money held in the bank. What happened to SVB? It took just 24 hours for US tech’s favorite bank to fall from grace. SVB served nearly half of US VC-backed tech startups and investors, according to the FT. But interest rates rose, bond values shrank, and with the tech industry slowdown, deposit withdrawals rose too. In a crude oversimplification: companies and investors pulled their money out of SVB amid economic uncertainty. To meet depositor demands for

Brooklyn-based climate tech company BlocPower has raised $150 million to drive its mission of making America’s buildings greener. The round included over $24 million of Series B corporate equity led by VoLo Earth Ventures and $130 million of debt financing led by Goldman Sachs. Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, Credit Suisse, Builders Vision, and New York State Ventures were among the investors. Making buildings greener 10% of all US greenhouse gas emissions come from burning fossil fuels in homes and buildings for heating and cooking. Traditional heating and cooking appliances that run

Google for Startups is accepting applications for its Black Founders Funds in the US, Europe, Africa, and Brazil, and its Latino Founders Fund in the US. This year also marks the first time Google for Startups has opened the US funds to the public. In previous years, Google reportedly selected US businesses solely through referrals.  Less than 0.5% of funding goes to Black-led startups, even though 77% of them are revenue-generating and create an average of 5.4 jobs each.  First announced in June 2020, the Black Founders Fund was launched as

Black-owned startup Robin AI has raised $10.5 million to transform the legal industry with its AI-driven contract editor. What is Robin AI? Robin AI is the brainchild of former Clifford Chance lawyer Richard Robinson and former machine learning research scientist James Clough. The startup trained its machine learning model on data from 4.5 million legal documents with input from in-house lawyers to create a ‘lawyer bot’ that can draft and edit legal contracts. On average, users can draft and negotiate contracts up to 80% faster, saving up to 75% on

Kanarys, Inc. has raised $10.5 million in a seed funding round, making co-founder and CEO Mandy Price one of fewer than 20 Black woman founders to receive over $10 million in funding. Making history isn’t anything new to Price. In 2021, the entrepreneur became one of 93 Black women to raise $1 million in capital funding. The recent funding round brings Kanary’s total capital to date to approximately $10.5 million. The series A funding round was led by Seyen Capital and included Portfolia Rising America, Rackhouse Venture Capital, Revolution’s Rise

Former Facebook employees Meena Harris and Helen Min have come together to launch their first-ever VC firm, Phenomenal Ventures.  Meena Harris, who just so happens to be a lawyer, author, and the niece of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, is no stranger to the journey of building a brand from the ground up. Before the launch of her latest venture, Harris turned her side hustle into a global empire by selling activist statement T-shirts.  The brand’s hero product was a T-shirt with the words “Phenomenal Woman” printed across the front. Some of the hottest celebrities, including

According to a new survey from Shopify, Black businesses contribute significantly to the company, yet they still struggle to get funding.  The barriers Black-owned businesses face Black-owned businesses face many barriers that limit their growth, including a need for more access to capital funding and investments. Not only does this make it harder for them to succeed, but it also limits their growth potential.  Despite racial and social justice movements catalyzing public support for Black businesses over recent years, minority founders have been left with unfulfilled promises of investments from banks,

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