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Black Founders

Westbound Equity Partners, formerly Concrete Rose Capital, has raised an impressive $100 million to invest in Black, Latine, and diversity-focused founders.  Westbound Equity Partners Spearheaded by Sean Mendy, a former Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula director, Westbound’s mission is to channel resources into startups that demonstrate potential while embodying a commitment to diversity and equitable culture. Mendy’s vision was to create a fund to break the homogeneous investment and entrepreneurship cycle and foster a more diverse and inclusive tech ecosystem.  The uniqueness of Westbound lies in its dual approach. On the one

Recent data from Crunchbase reveals that there has been a disproportionate decline in venture funding for Black-founded startups in the United States. A Fall Below The $1B Threshold Last year, these startups secured only $705 million in funding, marking the first time since 2016 that the figure fell below the $1 billion threshold. This sharp decline of 71% in funding to Black-founded companies starkly contrasts with the 37% decrease in overall U.S. startup funding, highlighting a widening gap in investment allocation. This drop signifies a declining share of Black-founded startups

Two computer science majors, Leslie Jones-Dove and Devshi Mehrotra from the University of Chicago, have raised $3 million for their AI platform, JusticeText. Making the criminal justice system fairer Jones-Dove and Mehrotra developed their idea during a class project that they both worked on during their university years. Following protests after the shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, the duo decided to interlink their interest in technology and the criminal justice system. “Across the country, there are a number of public defender’s offices where they’re underpaid and overworked,” James-Dove told AfroTech. “It means that they have a

Latimer Ventures has announced plans for a mini-accelerator, Latimer House, for Black and Latinx founders to strengthen businesses, attract investment, and build a network. In honor of Lewis Latimer, Luke Cooper founded Latimer Ventures in 2022.  The venture capital firm is focused on helping the next generation of Black and Hispanic enterprise SaaS unicorns. Latimer House Latimer House is an 8-week intensive program for Black and Latinx founders, aiming to help them get to their next growth stage, whether that’s funding or their first enterprise customer. The program also aims to help founders gain

Venture capital (VC) funding for Black entrepreneurs in the US has been decreasing since a peak following George Floyd’s murder in 2020. In 2023, Black founders in the US got only 0.48% of all venture dollars, about $661 million out of $136 billion, TechCrunch reports. This is the lowest in recent years. Peak funding in 2021 In 2020, Black founders received 0.6% of venture funding. By the first half of 2021, funding to Black entrepreneurs in the US reached nearly $1.8 billion, a fourfold increase compared to the same time

Y Combinator-backed startup DryMerge has launched its platform that uses AI to write event-driven workflows for developers, businesses, and their customers. Edward Frazer and Samuel Brashears co-founded the startup to address the problems they faced as engineers and founders. In addition to engineering challenges, the pair found that many repetitive operational processes required coordination between SaaS tools and internal infrastructure. This inspired them to build DryMerge to make building solutions for these things as easy as explaining the problem. As easy as a conversation with a co-worker DryMerge uses AI

Health In Her HUE, a digital health app focusing on reducing health disparities for women of color, has announced a $3 million seed round. Health In Her HUE The digital health app connects Black women to the health care providers, services, and resources committed to their health and well-being. It was founded in 2018 by public health innovator Ashlee Wisdom and Eddwina Bright – who is no longer with the company. After getting her public health master’s and tired of reading research papers about the disparate healthcare outcomes for Black women, Wisdom had an

Fearless Fund has filed an appeal against a court ruling that temporarily blocked their grant program for Black women entrepreneurs. The ruling came amid an ongoing lawsuit by the American Alliance for Equal Rights (AAER), which alleged the fund’s grant program was racially discriminatory. The Racial Bias Lawsuit Black-woman-owned venture capital fund Fearless Fund invests in women of color-led businesses seeking pre-seed, seed level, or series A financing. The AAER brought a lawsuit against them in August 2023. Notably, AAER founder Edward Blum is the conservative activist behind the Supreme Court’s affirmative

Braze has expanded its product grant program, previously known as Tech for Black Founders – now called Tech for an Equitable Future. Braze is a comprehensive customer engagement platform that powers relevant and memorable experiences between consumers and the brands they love. Tech for Black Founders was launched in 2020 to address findings that only 1% of US founders backed by venture capital are Black. Today Braze’s program has 24 Black-founded businesses, including ten women-founded startups, active in the program, totaling $735,00 in annualized Braze product value. Tech For An Equitable

Every year, Forbes releases their long-awaited list of young innovators shaping today’s world. This year marks Forbes 30 Under 30’s 13th annual list of entrepreneurs. The list featured a handful of Black people innovating in tech, from tackling toxic language online to working on the first crewed space mission to Mars. So, let’s meet some of them. Tony Morino, Co-Founder of Wiseday Morino co-founded Wiseday in 2021 to help Canadian homeowners get the best and cheapest mortgage rates. Morina co-founded the company with his friends and long-time acquaintances in 2021

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