Black-owned beauty and tech company Mayvenn has announced that it raised $40 million in a Series C funding round. Leading investments came from Chicago-based venture fund Cleveland Avenue, with participation from the Growth Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management and a 16z. Mayvenn allows consumers to search for and book hair stylists in their local area. Stylists are able to operate their businesses on the platform, including selling products and marketing their salon-based services. The company says it is now home to over 50,000 hair stylists across the country.
Media company, HARTBEAT, founded by comedian and actor Kevin Hart, has announced the launch of their new TV special, “Confessions from the Hart.” The series, which will be the first Web3 experience produced by the media company, is set to premiere on July 6, exclusively on Roku. The program will be released in partnership with the Web3 platform, Moonwalk. The special will kick off the first of many more episodes throughout the year, honoring the company’s mission to globalize its content and reach a wider audience. “My favorite thing to do
Founder and CEO of mental health tech startup MindRight Health, Ashley Edwards, has raised $1.78 million in seed funding. The funding round led by investment platform Lifeforce Capital included existing investors Acumen America and Impact America Fund. New investors included Hopelab Ventures, Gaingels and Impact Assets, and Pivotal Ventures. Edwards previously raised $1 million for MindRight Health in 2020. In doing so, became one of only 35 Black women in the US, and was reportedly the first Black woman in New Jersey, to achieve this level of VC funding. This
Businessman and investor Baron Davis has announced his partnership with Hennessy for their “Never Stop Never Settle Society” campaign. The serial entrepreneur and former NBA player is set to join the team as a board member and hopes to use his experiences to help champion Black entrepreneurs. The initiative, launched by the famous liquor brand in 2021, works to accelerate the growth of Black business owners across the US. The $1 million campaign, which Hennessy developed in partnership with talent development platform Marcus Graham Project, provides 20 Black entrepreneurs with
Atlanta-based digital Fintech company Greenwood recently announced the acquisition of Black-owned networking platform Valence. The partnership will provide millions of Black professionals access to new career opportunities. Valence, which Kobie Fuller co-founded with Emily Slade and LaMer Walker in 2019, is a leading recruitment platform that helps connect, empower, and showcase Black professionals. In addition, the networking platform, which was launched to address the lack of diversity within leadership roles, has provided alternative routes for professionals whose skin color may have played a role in how they were perceived in
Black-owned venture capital firm, Backstage Capital, has cut 75% of its operational staff due to fundraising and growth challenges, both externally and internally. Backstage Capital, founded by Arlan Hamilton in 2015, was one of the first VC firms to dedicate their services to minimizing the funding disparities in tech by investing in high-potential founders of color, women, and LGBT members. The firm, which Hamilton built from the ground up while homeless, invested in over 170 start-up companies led by underrepresented founders. The decision to downsize its team came just three
Black-owned venture capital firm, MaC, has raised $203 million for its second fund, building on the initial $110 million they secured in seed-stage funding last year. The firm focuses on investing in underrepresented founders of color. The highly resourceful team uses their skills and knowledge to support the next generation of tech companies, focusing on reshaping the culture and providing resources to underrepresented communities. MaC was launched in 2019 by four founding partners: former Washington D.C. mayor Adrian Fenty, former talent agent Charles D. King, VC veteran Marlon Nichols, and
Athletic champions Naomi Osaka and LeBron James have announced the launch of their new media production company, Hana Kuma. Hana Kuma, founded by the four-time Grand Slam tennis champion Naomi Osaka and NBA legend LeBron James, will produce documentaries, feature television shows, and anime programs for a global audience. The production company will primarily focus on highlighting stories from marginalized groups yet to be covered by mainstream media outlets. “I’ve built my career taking a different approach than others around me,” Naomi Osaka said in an Instagram post. “Because my journey has
Nana Ghartey’s voice assistant software may have started out in his grandmother’s house, but it’s now being used by the thousands of older and visually-impaired people all over Ghana excluded by Western voice technology. How did he get into tech? Ghartey taught himself mobile app development and built desktop applications, websites, and eventually mobile games, none of which were part of his school curriculum, by reading the programming textbooks that an uncle visiting from the US had left behind. Here’s his story. In 2010, the wealthiest American tech companies had
Justin Samuels, the CEO of Render Atlanta and qualified engineer, is on a mission to build on that influence by making Atlanta a true power player in the world of technology, essentially blending software engineering with culture. What does his company Render Atlanta do? It’s a software engineering experience; where tech meets culture, inclusion, and accessibility. RenderATL is a four-day software engineering conference & music festival featuring your next career opportunity with 50+ expert speakers in tech covering upcoming and current best software engineering practices, web3, engineering leadership, accessibility practices, and more.