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Venture Capital

OnePort 365, a platform that claims to solve problems by providing end-to-end digitization of freight management for stakeholders, is building an operating system for cross-border trade in Africa. It says its platform covers air freight, ocean freight, inland haulage (trucking, barge, and rail), pay-as-you-go warehousing, marine insurance, and customs brokerage.  Traders can connect with shipping and inland transportation vendors and manage the entire process (from booking to payments), including real-time visibility of their shipments. When it comes to payments, OnePort 365 claims to aggregate different methods enabled by the Pan-African

Emmanuel Okeleji is the co-founder and CEO at SeamlessHR, a cloud-based HR and payroll technology company that recently announced its $10 million series A. His work and entrepreneurial experiences span multiple industries, including healthcare, agriculture, and education. By the end of medical school, Okeleji had gone through a Goldman Sachs investment banking internship and kicked off an incorporated software development company alongside his current co-founder, Deji Lana. One of the tools they built back in the mid to late 2000s, a software tool for cooperatives, is still in use today.

Insurtech Etap is now on a mission to expand its services across the West African country following a $1.5 million pre-seed funding round led by Mobility 54; the venture capital arm of Toyota Tsusho and CFAO Group. Founder and CEO Ibraheem Babalola started building Etap last year when he found himself frustrated by the complexities and delays involved in purchasing insurance. “The idea itself is from being a frustrated customer; my insurance would expire and I wouldn’t get a notification to renew it…I always had to make a call to a guy

daba, an abbreviation for “Democratizing Access to Business in Africa” is set to launch soon and aims to give individuals interested in investing in exclusive markets in the continent of Africa the chance to do just that. The waitlist, which is reported to have quietly opened in the fall of 2021, has reportedly grown to more than $2.5M USD in capital pledges toward promising African investment opportunities. Established as Africa’s first social investment application, daba’s mission is to make investing in Africa possible for investors of any level. To elevate their commitment

Crypto payments infrastructure firm MoonPay received $87 million from an array of celebrities as part of its $555 million Series A round including Drake and Snoop Dogg. The Miami-headquartered startup received a $3.4 billion valuation after closing its Series A funding round last November. The investment was led by Coatue and Tiger Global Management. The firm provides payment infrastructure to let people exchange fiat currencies and crypto using all traditional payment methods, such as debit and credit cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay. MoonPay has previously acted as a kind of “concierge” for

After securing $32 million in a Series A funding round back in February, Canela Media became one of the largest funded Latino-owned companies. The  New York-based digital media technology company was launched in 2019 in an effort to cater to Latino and Spanish-speaking communities and it claims to currently reach more than 50 million unique Hispanic viewers across its over 180 premium Spanish-language websites.  Canela’s streaming-video app, Canela.TV, is entirely free and supported by ads. Its app, which was launched in 2020, offers on-demand licensed and original shows, as well as

During Joanna Smith-Griffin’s time at Excel Academy Charter Schools in Boston, working as a student engagement director, she noticed the glaring truancy her school suffered from and became determined to do something about it. That’s when she realized something seriously needed to be done and she launched ‘All Here. Smith’s company is an edtech curbing chronic absenteeism in K-12 schools with mobile messaging powered by article intelligence (AI). On the startup’s website, it says: “We foster student success using mobile messaging powered by artificial intelligence. Our AllHere Advisor (AHA) communicates 24/7 via automated

The Black News Channel, a cable news station focused on serving Black viewers, ceased operations on Friday afternoon after its billionaire backer declined to provide more funding for the startup. Now it’s currently under fire after former network employees took to social media to claim they were blindsided when operations were stopped abruptly. They also claim they have been waiting weeks for their final paychecks, just to be told they would not be receiving them as promised. Founded by former GOP congressman J.C. Watts back in 2020, the network was

Imalipay, which describes itself as a one-stop-shop financial services platform, has closed a $3 million seed in debt and equity round. The fintech raised an $800,000 pre-seed round in 2020. It was launched in late 2020 by Tatenda Furusa and Oluwasanmi Akinmusire after Furusa noticed the challenges ride-hailing drivers faced when accessing working capital or emergencies like running out of fuel in Nairobi. COO Akinmusire and Furusa met while working at Cellulant before starting ImaliPay. They received funding from Google Black Founders Fund last October before closing this seed round, which welcomed participation from Leonnis Investments.

Frustrated by the lack of inaction by many traditional VCs, some investors are trying to change the system and close the funding gap. Here we have a list of investors who are mobilizing and deploying capital, building economic power beyond the 1%. While not all of these VCs are 100% focused on funding underrepresented founders, they say they are inclusive and intentional about investing in founders who are women, Black, Indigenous, People of Color, LGBTQ+, over 50, and people with disabilities.  The majority of the list, first created by Allyson

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