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Tech Startup Yappa Raises $3.5M Series A to Bring Humanity Back To Online Communication

Stories of online harassment have made news headlines for years during the increased age of social media. According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, last year it found that 41 percent of U.S. adults have personally experienced some form of online harassment in at least one of six ways. This is why Black-owned tech company, Yappa was formed to intervene and create a more humane way for users to communicate online. Forbes reports that this week, the tech startup has raised a $3.5 million Series A funding round to double down on its exemplary efforts to restore positive virtual interactions online. Funding from the round — which was led by Future Media Limited — will reportedly go toward expanding the company’s existing features and launching new ones to further enhance its capabilities. Yappa — which was founded by Jennifer Dyer and Kiaran Sim back in 2015 — is a development-stage company that offers audio and video commenting services for Internet websites, its...

Apr 15, 2021

AI Messaging Startup Holler Raises $36M Series B to Power Conversational Media Online

AI messaging company Holler is well on it’s way to proving that Black founders can obtain VC funding to help power their startups and fuel their missions to change the world. According to TechCrunch, the Black-owned tech company has just announced the raise of a $36 million Series B funding round, bringing its total funding to $51 million overall. The round was co-led by CityRock Venture Partners and New General Market Partners, with participation from other investors such as Gaingels, Interplay Ventures, Relevance Ventures, Towerview Ventures and WorldQuant Ventures. MarTech Series reports that Holler plans to use the new funds to “invest in the research, engineering and development around conversational media, and the original creative content intended to drive its use.”   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Holler (@holler.io) Holler — which is described as a conversational media company — initially launched with a mission to become a news and video content app before...

Apr 6, 2021

Meet America’s Black Billionaires

At the start of 2020, the United States is currently home to five of the world’s eleven black billionaires. Get to know some of the wealthiest African Americans in the country below. Robert F. Smith ($5 billion) View this post on Instagram A post shared by Robert F. Smith (@robertfredericksmith) Robert F. Smith, the billionaire businessman who made headlines when he wiped out the enter student debt for the 2019 graduating class at Morehouse College, earns his wealth as founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners , a U.S.-based investment firm with offices in Austin, Chicago, New York City, Oakland, and San Francisco. In 2017, Forbes named Smith one of the 100 greatest living business minds and in 2018, Smith surpassed Oprah Winfrey as the wealthiest African American in the country. David Steward ($3.9 billion) Photo Credit: EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP via Getty Images David Steward is the founder and chairman of World Wide Technology, Inc, the largest black-owned business in the United...

Jan 30, 2020

A How-to Guide For Having Difficult Conversations at Work

In theory, people who hold leadership positions should be able to communicate with anyone. The reality is, many leaders are uncomfortable communicating — especially with their employees. A Harris Poll revealed 69 percent of managers find it difficult giving direct feedback about employee performance. Demonstrating vulnerability, recognizing employee achievements, crediting others, and giving clear direction was also noted. Companies are more productive and successful when expectations are clear and positive coworker relationships exist. If conversations are not taking place, there’s a culture and productivity killer in the workplace. From giving feedback on the poor quality of work to explaining why a team member is not demonstrating company values, managers — as well as business owners –need to know how to have difficult conversations. Here’s a guide on how to handle difficult conversations at work; Prepare The more prepared you are, the easier it is to manage your emotions,...

Jan 3, 2020

Four Soft Skills You Need to Develop as an Entrepreneur

Here’s a harsh reality. Although many entrepreneurs may have the skills to create and sell a product or service, sometimes their abilities to manage employees, market their services, or deal with customer complaints are lacking. I get it, as an entrepreneur, it’s easy to get caught up running day-to-day operations. However, whether your goal is to raise capital or build a team to support future demand, soft skills are critical for sustaining business growth. Look at it this way: Building a rock star team and handling difficult customer conversations, that’s setting expectations, managing your emotions, and communicating assertively. Delivering a pitch presentation to an investor, that’s using storytelling to capture their attention, and communicating your ideas and value proposition in such a way that it wins them over. I could go on and on but you get the point. Soft skills are no longer a nice to have but a must-have — especially if you have the vision to level up. If you’re in...

Dec 31, 2019