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Black VCs

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OpenseedVC Raises $10M To Support Operators Launching Technology Companies In Africa And Europe

OpenseedVC, run by Europe’s first Black solo general partner, has raised $10 million in its first close. Per its LinkedIn, the London, England-based firm exists to invest dollars in operators, those previously involved in daily operations of a startup, who are launching new technology companies across Africa and Europe. “We exist to back the most talented and experienced operators from day zero,” OpenseedVC Founder Maria Rotilu wrote on LinkedIn. “ As an angel-style fund, we are designed for one founder profile. Operators just as they take the leap to start their tech companies. We are driven by *pure merit* (hence the name OpenseedVC), and our goal is to back the most experienced operators and builders as first investors, especially at a time where the need to build truly groundbreaking and impactful solutions is critical.” She continued, “It is a tough fundraising climate, for funds and startups alike. However, we believe this is the best time to invest in the most visionary and...

Samantha Dorisca

May 22, 2024

After Becoming The Youngest And First Black Female Partner Ever At GV, Terri Burns Is Launching Her Own VC Firm

Back in 2020, Terri Burns made history at GV (formerly Google Ventures) as not only its first Black female partner but also its youngest-ever partner at age 26, as previously shared by AFROTECH™. The promotion came after she joined the investment arm of Alphabet in 2017. Now, the history-maker is spreading her wings to take on building out her own venture. Fortune reports that Burns is launching her firm, Type Capital. “To the next generation of founders… you’re exactly our type,” Burns wrote via Instagram when announcing her new firm. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Terri Burns (@tcburning) According to Fortune, the 30-year-old was moved to start Type Capital after seeing a trend of venture capitalists investing in companies only after seeing fellow VCs show interest first, which she describes as “heat.” Burns aims to change the status quo by taking the lead and pursuing risks “driven by true innovation,” not by other investors. “They’re talking to amazing investors,...

Ngozi Nwanji

May 13, 2024

Jay-Z's Venture Capital Firm Is Reportedly In Talks Of A Merger That Would Result In $1B In Combined Assets

Major changes may be on the way for Jay-Z’s Marcy Venture Partners. The rapper’s venture capital firm, established in 2018, was created to build “innovative businesses and mass-market brands,” its company website mentions. Its areas of investment focus on sustainability, inclusivity, empowerment, accessibility, and health and wellness. As AFROTECH™ previously mentioned, its investment portfolio includes at least 24 companies such as Wheels, an electric transportation company; Hungry Marketplace, a food tech company; and Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty lingerie brand. MVC also participated in a $33 million funding round for premier beauty brand Madison Reed in 2022 and backed 24-year-old technologist Iddris Sandu to embolden his tech incubator, Spatial Labs. “Aligning with Marcy Venture Partners assists with our vision for elevating the youth as it relates to access and a means to true technological empowerment,” Sandu said at the time. “The lasting impact of this relationship is not simply...

Samantha Dorisca

May 9, 2024

Twitter Backed Minority-Led VC Firms But Has Now Dropped Its Support Team, Leaving Fund Managers Scrambling

Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter has been a rollercoaster experience. The purchase of the social media giant came with significant changes including massive layoffs and payments for the once-coveted blue check. Not to mention, AfroTech reported that one of the significant shifts with Musk as CEO was the closing of Twitter’s Africa office. The Ghana office had only 20 employees but was closed just days after officially opening. Surprising moves like the layoffs and added restrictions have been back to back as Musk navigates his power leading the company. A recent development in the shake-up is the dissolution of its corporate development team that supported minority-owned venture capital firms. According to Forbes, Twitter could be backing out of its promise of millions to venture capital firms and small businesses.

Josh Rodgers

Apr 25, 2023

This Black Founder Sold His Tech Firm For Over 11x The Company's Revenue At The Top Of The Pandemic

LLC Twitter and Instagram will have you believe that the only way to achieve success is through countless work hours and minimal rest and self-care time. The social media gurus would also attempt to convince you that entrepreneurship is this magical, stress-free journey toward economic freedom. That’s not the case. There are many benefits to having a side hustle, grinding until you win, and having the autonomy of business ownership. However, most successful entrepreneurs would tell you that the growth journey isn’t entirely black and white. It is also filled with gray areas, as every business, person, and idea is nuanced. And while LLC Twitter and Instagram provide some false sense of reality through meme culture, some universal truths exist that can help every aspiring business owner thrive. This is where Luke Cooper enters the chat.

Josh Rodgers

Oct 14, 2022

Zeal Capital Partners Founder Nasir Qadree Breaks Down The Ins And Out Of Venture Capital

If you’re looking for a full crash course on some of the ins and outs of venture capital funding, you may want to keep reading. As the founder and managing partner of Zeal Capital Partners, located in Washington, D.C., Nasir Qadree, knows the ins and outs when it comes to the world of venture capital. Now he’s on a mission to spread his knowledge with the world on the latest episode of AfroTech’s Black Tech Green Money podcast with Will Lucas.

Shanique Yates

Jan 11, 2022

Free Fenix Co-Founders Become A Part Of First Few Black Men With Board Seats At Duck Donuts Franchise

These Black men in business are going the extra mile to create opportunities for their community, all while creating a seat at the table for themselves. André Walters and Derrick Brown — co-founders of Charlotte-based hybrid investment firm Free Fenix — have announced their latest move in the franchise space. The two are partnering with investment firm New Spring Capital to close a deal that makes them part-owners of Duck Donuts — a Mechanicsburg, PA -based chain of donut franchises. As part-owners of the franchise, Walters and Brown also hold board seats at the company, which makes them the one of the first Black men to hold such positions at Duck Donuts. “We believe the world is just getting to know Duck Donuts and when they do, they will notice what we noticed,” they tell AfroTech. “It took many long hours, conversations, compromises and perseverance to get this deal done, but in the end we accomplished the objective we established over a year ago and we think this is a win for...

Njera Perkins

May 6, 2021

Meet the Black Professionals in Venture Capital Who Made the Forbes 30 Under 30 List

The highly anticipated Forbes 30 Under 30 list just hit the net and we’ve got our eyes on the Black professionals making waves — specifically in the world of venture capital. Check out the Black powerhouses who made the list below: Frederik Groce, Principal, Storm Ventures and Co-founder of BLCK VC LinkedIn Maya Horgan Famodu, Founder of Ingressive Capital LinkedIn Nnamdi Iregbulem,Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners LinkedIn Solomon Hailu, Vice President of March Capital LinkedIn Jackson Cummings, Investor at Salesforce Ventures LinkedIn Terri Burns,Partner at GV LinkedIn Eric Campbell, Partner at Value Investment Group LinkedIn Congratulations to all of the changemakers who made the list — continue to pave the way and shake things up! — Disclaimer: GV is an investor in Blavity Inc., owner of AfroTech.

Shanique Yates

Dec 1, 2020

Jay-Z's New $85M VC Fund May Signal the Start of New Investments

Hip hop’s first billionaire, Jay-Z, is shattering the glass ceiling yet again. This time with his venture capital firm, Marcy Venture Partners (MVP), a San Francisco based VC co-founded by Jay-Z, his long time business partner, Jay Brown, and Larry Marcus. According to Forbes, MVP has raised $85 million toward its fund and SEC filing documents show the VC firm has a total of 54 new investors. Does this mean the business mogul has something new in the works? Although only time will tell — MVP has already invested in a number of startups last year. According to Crunchbase , the VC invested in Wheels, an electric transportation company, and Hungry Marketplace, a food tech company. The firm also led the $70 million funding round for Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty lingerie brand. Jay-Z and his team are not new to the business of investing. In its early stages of funding, Jay-Z invested in Uber , and Larry Marcus, a seasoned investor, has invested in industry giants like Netflix and Pandora via...

Devin Crudup

Feb 28, 2020

This Group Is Giving Away $50,000 To Underrepresented Cannabis Entrepreneurs

On March 12, 2020, California’s cannabis marketplace Eaze will be hosting its first Momentum pitch day in Los Angeles, CA. Photo Credit: Eaze With minorities holding only 17% of executive positions within cannabis businesses, Eaze understands the need for large cannabis companies to step up and promote greater diversity in the cannabis space. That’s why they created the Momentum program, a business accelerator that supports underrepresented entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry.  One hundred thirty-two applicants from 40+ cities across the United States applied to participate in the program in the Fall of 2019. Winners were chosen by Momentum’s advisory committee to participate in the program’s 10-week education and mentorship curriculum,  which took place from November to February. Photo Credit: Eaze During the  10-week curriculum, Momentum’s participants received mentorship from industry-leading experts, practical tools to manage and expand their business, training in compliance...

Stephanie Ogbogu

Feb 25, 2020

John Henry Steps Down From Harlem Capital

John Henry has announced his departure from Harlem Capital after three years with the New York-based venture capital firm. Henry made the announcement yesterday via a Medium Op-Ed , and took to his Instagram to share his sentimental farewell. View this post on Instagram   What an incredible journey it was to be part of @harlemcapital. Today, I announce my departure. Full medium post in bio. ? A post shared by John Henry (@johnhenrystyle) on Feb 16, 2020 at 5:36pm PST “I learned a great deal being part of this team. Made memories that will last a lifetime. Formed a special kind of bond that only partners of a like-mission will know. Put my own little touch in the firm’s DNA. And ultimately, served passionately until I contributed all I felt I was meant to,” Henry wrote in the Medium Op-Ed. Founders of Harlem Capital Henry joined Harlem Capital in 2017 working alongside managing partners, Henri Pierre-Jacques and Jarrid Tingle, as well as venture partner, Brandon Bryant . Harlem...

Devin Crudup

Feb 17, 2020

5 Black-Owned Venture Capitalist Firms To Fund Your Startup

The number of Black business owners in America is growing at an exponential pace. In fact, the number of African American-owned businesses in the U.S . grew by 60% in recent years. Yet, according to the Census Bureau, of the 949,318 minority-owned businesses in the U.S., Black companies account for only 11.4%. A major reason for the lack of Black-owned businesses is the struggle to obtain sufficient funding. In a world where the odds seem to be stacked against Black entrepreneurs, it’s highly imperative for Blacks to support each other. That’s where Black-owned venture capitalist firms come in. Here are just a few firms you can work with to get your startup off the ground.   Related: Black-Owned VC Firm Closes On $22M Fund For Underrepresented Founders 1. BLACK ANGEL TECH FUND After a panel about the lack of Black startup founders during the 2015 Stanford Black Alumni Summit, a group of Black entrepreneurs and angel investors started the Black Angel Tech Fund . The firm uses funds...

AfroTech

Jan 23, 2020

Five Black-Led VC Firms to Watch

The diversity numbers in venture capital (VC) are even worse than the numbers in tech as a whole. According to Tech Crunch, 81 percent of VC firms don’t have any Black investors at all. A study released by Harvard in 2017, indicated that women have accounted for less than 10 percent of the entrepreneurial and venture capital labor pool from 1990-2016 with about two percent having been Hispanics, and less than one percent African Americans. A more recent Stanford study indicates that even successful Black VCs have a tougher time in the industry than their white counterparts. Here are five Black VC making a mark: 1. BLCK VC According to their website , “BLCK VC was formed to connect, engage, empower, and advance Black venture investors by providing a focused community built for and by Black venture investors.” Their goal is to increase the number of Black venture capitalists from 200 to 400 by 2024. BLCK helps VC firms incorporate effective diversity and inclusion practices in their...

Colleen Williams

Jan 2, 2020

Landit Closes $13M Series A Funding Round led by WeWork

Landit , the platform helping users get ahead in their careers, has ended its $13 million Series A funding round. WeWork led the funding round. Other investors include Connectivity Partners, Morgan Stanley, and Gingerbread Capital. Connectivity Partners focuses on early-stage founders of technology companies, while Gingerbread Capital invests in high-growth, women-led companies. Lisa Skeete Tatum created Landit after spending time as a venture capitalist at Cardinal Partners, a $350 million firm. Now she’s on the other side of the deal, securing funding for her own company. Landit is a platform that helps individuals and companies improve their corporate experiences. Landit provides a professional playbook, goals and other tools to help employees solidify raises and promotions. Landit Founder, Lisa Skeete Tatum On the company-focused side of Landit, the platform assists businesses in improving retention and diversity rates. According to a Landit spokesperson, the company increased...

Arriana McLymore

Feb 27, 2019

How Culture Shifting Weekend Plans to Change the Face of VC Founders

Culture Shift Labs , a consulting firm that helps find diverse talent for companies,  is hosting an invitation-only summit in New York City for black and Latino-led venture capital firms to find funding. The three-day event begins on November 1 and includes panel discussions, workshops and other networking opportunities. Culture Shifting Weekends , bi-coastal conferences in Silicon Valley and New York City, shines a light on black and Latino founders and VCs. Each location offers a different format — Silicon Valley’s April events focus on black tech, social impact and innovation leaders, while New York City’s November events foster relationships and deals between black and Latino executives, entrepreneurs and investors. Culture Shifting Weekend in New York City will feature over 20 VC founders and gives them direct access to institutional investors, social impact investors and corporate VCs. Investors attending the conference include Toyota AI Venture, Ford Foundation and IBM...

Arriana McLymore

Oct 5, 2018