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Morgan State University Receives $1.05M Grant To Prepare Its 'Students To Be At The Forefront Of The FinTech Revolution'

Morgan State University is receiving extended financial backing from a leading company that works to “build breakthrough crypto solutions.” On May 14, the National FinTech Center at the Baltimore, MD-based HBCU announced it had been awarded a three-year $1,050,000 grant from Ripple. The new funding will go toward advancing the center’s blockchain and fintech research, education, programming, faculty and student technical projects, ecosystem development, operational support, educational workshops, blockchain clubs, and a fintech solution incubator, per a news release. “This generous $1,050,000 grant is not just an investment; it’s a catalyst that propels our ability to innovate, collaborate, and prepare our students to be at the forefront of the FinTech revolution,” said Ali Emdad, Ph.D., f ounding director of the National Center for the Study of Blockchain and FinTech. “The ongoing partnership with Ripple stands as a beacon, illuminating the path toward a transformative educational...

May 15, 2024

After Working For Amazon And Netflix, These Co-Founders' Fintech Startup Raised $1M To Help Production Companies Cut Costs

Watching firsthand the state of production finance sparked a drive in Shawn Hamilton to make improvements.

Nov 30, 2023

How Wemimo Abbey, Co-Founder Of Fintech Startup Esusu, Snagged An Investment From Serena Ventures

In January 2022, Esusu reached a $1 billion valuation — making the fintech company one of the few Black-owned unicorns in the U.S. and globally — as previously shared by AFROTECH. However, “Success isn’t built overnight” rings true for the company.

Oct 5, 2023

This Founder Spent His Last Penny To Launch A Startup That Serves Financially Underserved Consumers

Eric Blue knew it was his life’s mission to launch Nevly. So, he spent his last penny to ensure underserved communities could practice better financial habits when he founded the fintech startup in 2021.

Mar 7, 2023

Dr. Bernice A. King, Ashley D. Bell To Launch Platform That Offers A Path To Homeownership That Excludes Credit Scores From Eligibility Requirements

Homeownership is a primary key to building wealth, but there is an alarming gap between Black homeowners and those who are white. Often, the underrepresented group doesn’t even have a fighting chance to successfully apply for a mortgage due to multiple factors such as little to no credit. To level the playing field for Black people in America, Ashley D. Bell and Dr. Bernice A. King have joined forces in shaking up the traditional mortgage lending industry. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Ashley D. Bell (@ashleydbell)  

Aug 11, 2022

Black-Owned Fintech Company Esusu Hits $1B Valuation

In the space of financial technology, Esusu hails as a leading platform. And, what’s more, it just hit unicorn status with the announcement of a $130 million funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. According to TechCrunch, the Series B round puts Esusu’s valuation at $1 billion, making it one of the very few Black-owned unicorns in the U.S. and beyond.

Jan 27, 2022

Allow Us To Introduce You To ZmBIZI, The Smartphone That Will Turn Your Free Time Into Dollars

Imagine getting paid just for using your phone? Now you don’t have to with ZmBIZI’s new device. The Z2 is the next evolution in smartphone technology, which allows users to be rewarded in the form of ZmBIZI Coins for using partnering applications, shopping, sharing, and searching on the device. When a user has garnered enough data on their smartphone they can redeem their funds. Each ZmBIZI Coin is valued at $0.01 USD and once users reach $20, the funds will be funneled to the MBZ digital Visa Card, where they can enjoy their earnings freely. “Just being able to look at your phone and get paid is not what is happening today. What is happening today is you are looking at your phone three to 400 times a day, but Apple, Samsung, and everyone else is not giving anything back to you and they have no intention to,” Alpesh Pate, Co-founder of ZmBIZI, told AfroTech. He continued: “What we have created is a device that empowers people to become better than what they are today. We put power...

Dec 22, 2021

Emerging Impact Raises $1.5M Round To Demystify Decentralized Finance

New fintech development platform Emerging Impact has announced that it’s raised $1.5 million in a recent financing round with investors, including Coinbase Ventures, Mercy Corps Ventures, 500 Global, and others. Founded in 2020 by Jon Lewis, Robert Greenfield, and Sandra Hart, Emerging Impact was created to send blockchain fintech products to areas in the market that have not been easily accessible through fiat and mobile money on/off ramps. Supported by recent funding, the company’s latest innovation will launch the open developer platform Umoja. Now consumers can tap into any financial service available within their peer market at a competitive rate while enjoying transaction costs 40 times cheaper than competitors and the utility of experiencing an economic system that is 1,000 times faster, according to a press release provided to AfroTech. “We created Umoja to accelerate inclusive, digital finance through open banking, and to empower and uplift more than 2 billion people...

Dec 6, 2021

NBA Superstars Join Goalsetter’s $15M Series A Round As It Aims To Expand Access To Wealth

Access to financial education in America is on the rise thanks to Goalsetter! In a press release, the fintech platform that aims to provide families and K-12 youth with access to banking, financial education tools, investing and savings has just announced that it closed a $15 million Series A funding round. In an investment series led by Seae Ventures, with participants that include Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures, Astia Fund, Citizens Financial Group, CUNA Mutual Finance Group, Fiserv, Mass Mutual Catalyst Fund, Sterling National Bank, and a host of others, the funding will allow Goalsetter to further its B2B partnerships that align with its mission to transform financial education and access to wealth for all Americans. “For the first time in the history of America, Goalsetter is merging culture, media and entertainment with the world of finance to bring financial education tools that are fun, engaging, and accessible to every kid and family in the country,” Goalsetter Founder...

Dec 1, 2021

Former Dropbox Product Managers Raise An $18M Series A For Their Fintech Startup Lendtable

Lendtable — a Black-led fintech startup — has raised an $18 million Series A funding round led by O1 Advisors with other participants including SoftBank’s SB Opportunity Fund , Valor Equity Partners, and the CEOs of Complex Networks and Social Finance, Inc (SoFi), Socii Capital and Streamlined Ventures. Founded in 2020 by former Dropbox product managers Mitchell Jones and Sheridan Clayborne, Lendtable offers cash advances to allow employees to take full advantage of their 401(k) match all at once without needing to use any of their own money. Once their money has been vested, the San Francisco-based startup takes a portion of the profit earned. Jones and Clayborne were inspired to solve the problem of underutilized 401(k) matching by their own families’ financial struggles. “I’m obsessed with trying to help people save and invest their money. I come from a lower-middle-income Black community in Dayton, Ohio,” Jones told AfroTech. While an undergraduate at Yale Unversity, Jones...

Nov 12, 2021

Athlete-Turned-Techpreneur Gerome Sapp's $1.8M Yeezy Prototype Sneaker Purchase Is Giving Back To The Culture

For former NFL player Gerome Sapp, transitioning from the world of professional sports to the world of business came with ease once he found the right concept. After retiring from the league in 2008, he was inspired to start a new career as a tech founder, and his latest conquest in the industry is proving to be quite a force in the investment space. With his driven mindset and finance background, the athlete-turned entrepreneur came up with an innovative concept to educate his community on what it means to make smart investments in assets that especially resonate with them — sneakers. This simple yet revolutionary idea is what paved the way for his new fintech startup Rares — a product of the Techstars Los Angeles Accelerator program — to launch as a platform to help people to invest in shares of particularly notable sneakers. The business, which launched earlier this year, was born amid the pandemic and gave Sapp the opportunity to combine his two passions — the Stock Market and...

Aug 30, 2021

SoftBank Leads $400M Funding Round For Nigerian Fintech Startup Opay Bringing Its Value to $2B

Softbank is betting big on Africa for the first time ever with a hefty investment in Nigerian fintech startup Opay. Bloomberg reports that the financial giant’s SoftBank Vision Fund 2 led a $400 million funding round for the fintech company, now bringing its value to $2 billion. Others that participated in the round include Sequoia Capital China, Redpoint China, Source Code Capital, Softbank Ventures Asia, DragonBall Capital and 3W Capital. Opay — a one-stop payment platform for consumers’ everyday needs founded in 2018 — previously raised two funding rounds back in 2019 with a $50 million Series A and $120 million Series B, TechCrunch shares. According to an emailed statement from OPay Chief Executive Officer Yahui Zhou, the hope is that the new funding will help the company “be the power that helps emerging markets reach a faster economic development.” “We believe our investment will help the company extend its offering to adjacent markets,” said Kentaro Matsui — a SoftBank Group...

Aug 23, 2021

Nigerian Uber Partner Moove Raises $23M Series A To Champion Car Ownership For African Drivers

African mobility is taking on a new meaning thanks to fintech startup Moove and its company mission. Today, the Nigerian tech-based vehicle financing platform — also Uber’s exclusive car financing and vehicle supply partner in sub-Saharan Africa — announced the raise of a $23 million Series A funding round to help empower more African drivers to buy and own their own cars.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Moove (@mooveafrica) According to a press release, the round was led by Speedinvest and Left Lane Capital, with participation from other investors such as DCM, Clocktower Technology Ventures,, LocalGlobe, Tekton, FJ Labs, Palm Drive Capital, Roka Works, KAAF Investments, Spartech Ventures, Class 5 Global, and Victoria van Lennep, co-founder of Lendable. Additional investors also include Africa specialist, Verod Kepple Africa Ventures and existing Moove lender Emso Asset Management. For many of its U.S.-based venture capital backers, Moove is their...

Aug 9, 2021

Nigerian Fintech Lidya Raises $8.3M Pre-Series B To Scale Operations As A Global Business

Nigerian fintech and lending startup Lidya has announced the raise of an $8.3 million pre-Series B funding round in an effort to continue expanding operations for the company in Europe. According to TechCrunch, investment firm Alitheia Capital led the funding round via its uMunthu Fund, with participation from other investors such as Bamboo Capital Partners, Accion Venture Lab and Flourish Ventures. “Lidya is tackling the fundamental challenge of providing access to credit for dynamic small and growing businesses that otherwise have limited options for financing working capital to scale their businesses in Africa and Europe,” Alitheia Capital co-founder and managing director Tokunboh Ishmael said in a statement. “Alitheia Capital and Goodwell are pleased to be backing a team whose mission aligns with our objective of driving growth and social impact by enabling access and inclusion to finance and financial services.” In addition to its latest round, Lidya has raised a total of $16.5...

Jul 7, 2021

Seven Months After Being Acquired By Stripe, Paystack Makes Its Way To South Africa

Last year, Nigerian startup Paystack was bought by fintech giant Stripe in a $200 million deal that sent shockwaves across Africa’s tech ecosystem. Now with more validation for the company, Paystack — already operating in both Nigeria and Ghana — has positioned itself to expand and launch its next location in South Africa. “South Africa is one of the continent’s most important markets, and our launch here is a significant milestone in our mission to accelerate commerce across Africa,” the company shared in a statement. “We’re excited to continue building the financial infrastructure that empowers ambitious businesses in Africa, helps them scale and connects them to global markets.” According to the company’s statement, this new launch also “takes us one step closer to our goal of accelerating commerce and removing barriers to trade across Africa.” The company’s South African launch comes after a six-month pilot project that kickstarted a month after it was acquired by Stripe....

May 6, 2021