These Black Women Raise $1.2M For Their Digital Marketplace For Student Side Hustles

Black-owned digital marketplace, Clutch, has raised $1.2 million in a pre-seed investment fund. The funding round which Precursor Ventures led also included Capital Factory and HearstLab. 

Clutch, co-founded in 2020 by Madison Long and Simone May, is a digital marketplace for emerging brands and creators. According to the outlet, Long and May built the platform to provide a space where creators can launch, market, and grow their side hustles. Clutch works to create a world where authentic, engaging work supports a more sustainable, equitable lifestyle. As a people-first platform, creators can monetize their talents and passions by collaborating with businesses and fulfilling their content creation needs. 

“We’re very passionate about being able to elevate the next generation of people that look like us. We prioritize democratizing access to information, using technology,” said Simone May, co-founder of Clutch, in an interview with TechCrunch

“I think because of the way that we’re so transparent in our community, it allowed us to build up that trust with investors who might have been more skeptical,” Madison Long added. “They haven’t seen founders like us be able to do what we’ve been able to do.” 

Clutch, which charges businesses rather than creators to use the platform, is currently focused on connecting Gen-Z student creators with emerging brands to help them kickstart their client base. It now has 200 creators signed up, with a 3,000-person waitlist. At least 75% of the active creators on Clutch are people of color. 

The company plans to use the funds to accelerate its beta launch – which began in January 2022 – and continue investing in its customer and product strategy. 

Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpamika is a tech reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.