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Daymond John Details How His Mom Became FUBU's First Investor Through A $100K Loan On Their House

Daymond John’s success is credited to the immeasurable value of having a solid support system. It’s a known tidbit that the “Shark Tank” co-star turned FUBU into an iconic brand thanks to his mother’s belief in him. However, in an interview with Shannon Sharpe, he revealed the extent of just how much she supported his dream. After Sharpe mentioned that John’s mother was his first investor, he shared his journey that led to the special moment. From seeing him work tirelessly on his brand for five years to being denied by 27 banks, she made a big decision to help her son. “I go to my mother and tell her I got turned down from 27 banks and she says, ‘Daymond, you’ve been trying to contribute to this house as long as you were a kid. I wouldn’t do this if you didn’t have the money. Let’s take all of the money we can out of the house. You manufacture and deliver the clothes and put the money back into the house.’ And that’s how she gave me the money,” he told Sharpe. He continued: “My...

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 18, 2022

Startup Founders Prepare For Beta Launch Of Africa's First Social Investment Application

Individuals interested in investing in exclusive markets in the continent of Africa now have the chance. daba , an abbreviation for “Democratizing Access to Business in Africa” and pays homage to a shovel-like tool used for agriculture in Ivory Coast, was co-founded by American-based entrepreneurs – Boum III Jr and Anthony Miclet. Established as Africa’s first social investment application, daba’s mission is to make investing in Africa possible for investors of any level. Based on a press release, Boum and Anthony realized that much of the world’s fastest-growing economies but has a significant lack of investment avenues for retail investors creating a solid foundation for increased interest in Africa as an investment destination . “Now is truly an opportune time to invest in Africa,” said Anthony, who serves as the Head of Product and co-founder of daba alongside Boum. “With recent cultural and economic trends, a lot of eyes are on the continent. It’s safe to say the world is...

Josh Rodgers

Apr 15, 2022

CurlMix Founders Who Rejected $400K 'Shark Tank' Offer Just Raised Over $3.6M In Equity CF

These entrepreneurs are reaping all the benefits from having turned down an offer during an appearance on “Shark Tank.” Kim and Tim Lewis are the founders of CurlMix, a haircare line geared toward all textures of our tresses! AfroTech previously reported that while on “Shark Tank” the couple turned down a $400,000 offer. Now they’re slated to make history in the equity crowdfunding space having already raised over $3.6 million within 30 days of launching their campaign, per Black Enterprise. To date over 6,000 investors have tapped into their campaign powered by Wefunder. “Anytime you have a community backing you and they are hype about [your brand], what you are doing will be successful,” said Tim during an interview with Black Enterprise. “I don’t have rich people [involved] who put in half a million dollars. About 90% of our investors have contributed less than $1,000 so it really is the people that are driving this campaign.” In just four hours of launching the campaign, the...

Shanique Yates

May 3, 2021

Kindred Media & Entertainment Founder Leah Hill Launches New App to Help Creatives Become Investors

There’s a new platform on the market that’s putting the value power back in creative freelancers’ hands. Entrepreneur Leah Hill — f ounder of Kindred Media & Entertainment — has announced the launch of a new app dedicated to connecting creatives with job opportunities and transforming them into investors. Kinfolk App is a first-of-its-kind platform that’s offering these creatives a unique opportunity to both invest and generate funds. By eliminating the pressure of networking between creatives and project leads, Kinfolk App is creating a two-sided solution to help simplify the marketplace. “Creating an app like Kinfolk was sparked out of personal necessity. There have been numerous times it seemed impossible to fill a role for a team I was working on. In fact, finding a mobile app developer to work with on Kinfolk proved to be a much harder task than I anticipated,” Hill shared. “Also, whenever I went on social media I was seeing posts searching for creatives with certain skill...

Njera Perkins

Mar 15, 2021

NBA's Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Baron Davis Invest in Banking App Goalsetter

There’s no age limit on when people can learn financial literacy, according to mobile banking app Goalsetter. The Black-owned kids and family finance app announced that it has raised a $3.9 million seed capital round and plans to use the funds to accelerate subscriber growth and enhance its ability to further expand its platform, according to a press release. The funding round was led by Astia, with participation from other companies such as PNC Bank, Mastercard, US Bank, Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures, Elevate Capital, Portfolia’s FirstStep Fund and Rising America Fund, and Pipeline Angels. In addition to those major investors, Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant, Phoenix Suns’ guard Chris Paul, former NBA star Baron Davis, and ex-MLB player C.C. Sabathia all joined as individual investors in the revolutionary app. “We are proud to support Goalsetter in their mission to increase financial literacy in Black and Brown communities,” Durant shared in a statement. “Financial education is...

Njera Perkins

Jan 26, 2021

GP Candice Matthews-Brackeen Says Now is the Time For Entrepreneurs to 'Get It Done'

“It’s our responsibility to remind people that this isn’t charity… this isn’t philanthropic.” Candice Matthews-Brackeen joins Will Lucas on the latest episode of AfroTech’s Black Tech, Green Money podcast to educate listeners on how to capitalize on this current moment in the venture capital space where investors are finally understanding the importance of investing in Black startups. Matthews-Brackeen is the General Partner of Lightship Capital, a Cincinnati-based venture capital fund that works to support underrepresented, early-stage, transformational businesses. During this episode, she reminds us that “it’s everyone’s responsibility to make sure that these good stories are being told.” She also says that for her and the team, it’s important “that we’re highlighting great founders doing great things.” “I have the weight of the world on my shoulders and I feel that it’s my responsibility to deliver a win,” said Matthews-Brackeen when asked about the challenges she faces as a...

Shanique Yates

Nov 20, 2020

Serena Williams, Jay-Z, and More Invest in Indonesian Coffee Company

A little-known coffee shop is receiving big-name patronage. Kopi Kenangan has just nabbed celebrity investors as a part of its venture capital efforts. The Indonesian coffee chain recently received backing from NBA player, Caris LeVert, Serena Williams’ Serena Ventures, Jay-Z’s Arrive, and Sweetgreen CEO, Jonathan Neman, according to Line Today. Edward Tirtanata, James Prananto, and Cynthia Chaerunnisa, the founders of Kopi Kenangan, established the company two years ago, to provide a middle ground between lower-end and more expensive coffee . Apparently, they have found that sweet spot. According to TechCrunch, the company raised $20 million through a Series A funding round earlier this year; the new, undisclosed investments increase the total yield. The funds will be used for expansion and for further technological development. The chain will add several new local stores and kiosks, and is expected to capture an overseas market by 2020. Its use of technology currently facilitates...

Emily Adeyanju

Dec 24, 2019

Los Angeles is the New Home of Large-Scale Venture Capital Funding

While Los Angeles has long been known as a prime locale for seed funding, the latest financial trends reveal that times are changing. Tinseltown is now becoming a place for startups to pursue more expansive venture capital funding , a distinction previously unique to the San Francisco Bay Area. A look at performance statistics of LA venture capitalists offers some insight. California early-stage ­funder Amplify notes that within the last decade, LA startups have raised more than $35 billion , ranking second only to their Silicon Valley counterparts in a 10-year U.S. venture capital funding overview. According to Pitchbook, Los Angeles funders have now raised approximately $12 billion in venture capital from 627 funding efforts in 2019 , landing fifth place in national ranking. Pitchbook noted one of the reasons for the emerging trend. “Until recently, the city’s venture capitalists have been best known for seed rounds in a region that is home to only a few large firms. However, the...

Emily Adeyanju

Dec 17, 2019

Women Seeking Wealth: A Chat With Italee Lucas

Italee Lucas is a former North Carolina Tarheel Women’s Basketball player, and she was also the 21st pick by the Tulsa Shock in the 2011 WNBA draft. She now plays overseas for the Angolan Women’s National Basketball team. Lucas has quite a few accolades under her belt, but now she can also add successful investor to that list. I was fortunate enough to spend some time talking with her to understand how she began investing and what she has learned about the process by working with the experts. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. AfroTech: When you were drafted into the WNBA, did they have anything in place to teach rookies about personal finance? Italee Lucas: They didn’t, and that’s one of the things I’m even talking to my agent about now. I did end up changing agents three times, and I think it’s important for the agents, especially for the women, coming out to be partnered with either a financial advisor or some type of additional capitalist. When I first came...

Carmela Hawkins

Dec 9, 2019

A Recent Study Revealed That VCs are Leaving Trillions of Dollars on the Table

Morgan Stanley recently released a study called “ The Trillion-Dollar Blindspot” showing that trillions of dollars are left on the table by venture capital (VC) firms who won’t invest in women and minority founders. “I think it’s important that people start to think to themselves that we could be in fact cheating our LPs if we don’t give ourselves full access to all of the opportunities that are out there,” Carla Harris, vice chairman at Morgan Stanley told Bloomberg’s Alix Steel on “Bloomberg Daybreak: Americas.” The report shows that only 17 percent and 18 percent of investors say they “very frequently” review startups and businesses led by women and minorities, respectively. “When VCs are thinking about investing they say ‘no’ in most cases to women and multicultural entrepreneurs is because the product or the process or the opportunity doesn’t fit,” Harris said. The study reports 46 percent of investors said traditional business sectors were a compelling factor when assessing a...

Devin Crudup

Nov 11, 2019

These Tips Will Help You Present Your Pitch More Effectively

Drafting and pitching your idea can be a daunting task because there is no standard format or how-to for communicating your idea to investors. The goal is to quickly capture the interest of your audience and convince them that your idea is worth investing in. Here are some pro tips to effectively communicate your idea: Put Your Startup’s Data Into Context Sure, numbers don’t lie, but if investors don’t know or understand what your data means, they probably won’t grasp how great your idea is. For example, when presenting the iPod to an audience, Steve Jobs didn’t mention gigabytes. Instead, he simply said the iPod could hold 1,000 songs. When drafting your pitch, be sure to make the data practical to give investors a natural and simplified understanding. Mesh Storytelling and Problem-solving Have your pitch flow by explaining the problem your idea solves via telling a story of why you decided to launch your startup. It’s not a bad idea to start your pitch with a captivating story...

Devin Crudup

Oct 22, 2019

Chamillionaire and E-40 Want to Invest $25,000 In a Startup Founded By Women Or People of Color

Most people know Chamillionaire from his 2006 hit “Ridin’,” which snagged him a Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. What they may not know is that Chamillionaire also has a keen interest in the tech industry. Now, he’s looking to invest $25,000 in a startup founded and managed by a woman or person of color. For this venture, Chamillionaire teamed up with E-40 and the portfolio company Republic . Chamillionaire originally made the announcement on his Instagram last week. “I’ve been in this tech industry for a while and I’ve been seeing a lot of people out here trying to raise capital and a lot of time it just doesn’t go to people of color or women,” he recently told Yahoo Finance. View this post on Instagram A post shared by @chamillionaire It’s definitely true that women and people of color have a harder time getting funding for their projects. In particular, Project Diane found that Black women have raised .0006 percent of the $424.7 billion in total tech venture...

Vanessa Taylor

May 30, 2019

Bumble Fund Announces Serena William As Newest Investor

Serena Williams is no stranger to the tech world and now it seems she’s focusing on strengthening her relationship with one app in particular. Today, Bumble announced that Williams will join Bumble Fund as an investor. Launched in 2018, Bumble Fund helps women of color and other underrepresented groups who are largely ignored in venture capitalism. Bumble Fund focuses on giving businesses early-stage investments. Although Bumble originally launched as an online-dating app that was unique for only allowing women to send the first message to a match, Bumble Fund is another example of how they’ve branched into other ventures. In a statement about the new partnership, Williams said: “I’ve learned how impactful one woman’s voice can be when given a platform to speak and be heard. I am passionate about building on this progress and opening doors for women of all backgrounds, especially women of color, to share their message and trust in their potential to accomplish great things. By...

Vanessa Taylor

Mar 20, 2019

This $36 Million Fund Is For Black Women Founders — And "It's About Damn Time"

Arlan Hamilton isn’t new to supporting underrepresented founders. Whether that means women, people of color or LGBTQ founders, Hamilton (founder of Backstage Capital) and her team have been there. So it comes as no surprise that they were able to bring their “It’s about damn time” fund to life. At the United State of Women Summit, Hamilton announced that Backstage Capital launched a $36 million fund that will invest in black women founders, $1 million at a time.   They’re calling it a “diversity fund.” I’m calling it an IT’S ABOUT DAMN TIME fund. — Arlan ?? (@ArlanWasHere) May 6, 2018   “This has been in the works for several months,” says Hamilton in an exclusive email to AfroTech. “It had a few iterations, but in the last couple of months, I made the decision that the money would go to funding black women specifically and $1 million at a time, specifically. It was very intentional and something that … I knew would probably get pushback from some people, but I have the greatest...