Six Black Startups that are Killing the Game
Photo Credit: Founders of Valence, (from left to right) La Mer Walker, Kobie Fuller, and Emily Slade.
It’s hard for Black entrepreneurs to launch startups, but these six companies are killing the game. Their amazing products are getting rave reviews from customers and impressive investments from industry leaders.
Founded by Rodney Williams, Chris Ostoich, and Josh Glick, LISNR is on a mission to completely disrupt the digital payments industry. According to their website, LISNR’s “proprietary ultrasonic data-over-sound technology enables modern checkout experiences globally across the customer journey for merchants, financial service providers and mobility enterprises.” If their recent investment from Visa is any indication, they are well on their way to achieving their goal. Learn more about Rodney Williams and LISNR here.
Calendly is a scheduling app that helps people organize their time better. Founded by Tope Awotona in 2013 and headquartered in Atlanta, Calendly helps its users increase their revenue and provide exceptional customer service by streamlining the scheduling process for meetings and appointments. Calendly is one of the highest-rated scheduling apps on the market right now, and they offer both free and paid versions.
3. Ovamba Solutions
Ovamba solutions is a Cameroon-based FinTech company trying to help African entrepreneurs access the capital they need. Founded in 2013 by Viola Llewellyn and Marvin Cole, Ovamba connects with investors from the United States, United Kingdom, and Japan to provide “short-term capital to micro, small and medium-sized businesses in Africa, emerging markets and the GCC for trade, inventory purchases and growth.”
Ovamba has also partnered with the United Bank of Africa (UBA) to help previously rejected applicants secure small-business loans.
If you’ve ever wished for a way that you could meet other Black superheroes, Valence has got you covered. Founded by Kobie Fuller, Emily Slade, and La Mer Walker, Valence is like Wakanda for Black talent. The community boasts members from the highest levels of a wide range of industries, including technology, design, engineering, entertainment, and law. So, go ahead, apply for a membership today.
5. Zume Pizza
Founded in 2015 by Julia Collins and Alex Garden, Zume Pizza takes artificial intelligence to the delivery pizza industry. Zume Pizza uses robots to make pizzas quickly and affordably with sustainability in mind. Just last November, SoftBank invested $375 million in the company, bringing their total funding to $423 million. Zume currently serves the San Francisco Bay Area.
6. Walker and Company
Although Proctor and Gamble acquired Walker and Company in December 2018, we still want to highlight its incredible accomplishments. Founded in 2013 by serial entrepreneur Tristan Walker, Walker and Company aims to provide high-quality health and beauty products for people of color. The company started out making Bevel, a line of shaving products from Black men then added Form, a premium hair care line for coily and curly hair.