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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

Infinite Looks Raises $4.2M Series A to Champion the Textured Hair Community Through Its Sunday II Sunday Brand

Infinite Looks, Inc. — the parent company of athleisure haircare brand Sunday II Sunday — has just announced a $4.2 million Series A funding round to help its dedicated haircare brand champion the active textured hair community. According to a press release shared with AfroTech, the funding round was led by Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. with participation from other investors such as Ignite Venture Studio and Symrise Inc. Infinite Looks, Inc. is now looking to use the new funds to fuel its continued development of innovative products underneath the Sunday II Sunday brand. “This funding round and the impressive demand we’ve seen from consumers so far reaffirms what we already knew; there is a massive gap in the hair care industry to provide pre- and post-exercise care for textured hair,” said Infinite Looks founder and CEO, Keenan Beasley in a statement. “ We’re proud to deliver and expand the products in our line with solutions for women who refuse to be held back by...

Mar 25, 2021

Kuda Raises $25M Series A to Help People From the African Diaspora Manage Their Money

Nigeria’s Kuda Technologies raised $25 million in a Series A funding round led by Valar Ventures with participation from Target Global and other investors. Co-headquartered in London and Lagos, Nigeria, Kuda offers mobile-first banking services to help people from the African diaspora manage their money and credit digitally. Kuda’s services are currently only live in Nigeria and this is the first African startup that Valar has financially backed. Kuda’s CEO Babs Ogundeyi says the company plans to use the Series A to expand its credit offerings, add more integrations to its platform, build services excessively for businesses and expand to more markets. “Nigeria is at a tipping point in the adoption of digital banking,” Andrew McCormack, a general partner and co-founder at Valar, told TechCrunch . “With the rapidly growing, youthful population who are open to new financial alternatives, Kuda is well-positioned to benefit and will transform the landscape of African banking.” This...

Mar 19, 2021

'I Just Believed We Were Going to Win,' Promise CEO Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins Talks Securing a $20M Series A

Payment technology company Promise secured more than $20 million in a Series A funding round last month. With this fresh investment, the company’s co-founder and CEO Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins told AfroTech that she has big growth plans moving forward. Promise launched in 2017 and its original focus at that time was creating payment technology for the criminal justice system to help scale bail reform. Ellis-Lamkins said the company did that for about a year and a half before making a pivot after participating in Y Combinator’s Spring 2018 cohort. Promise has since created a payment solution that makes customizable plans and offers digital payment options to users who need to make government payments like parking tickets, child support, utilities and more. Ellis-Lamkins said this idea came to her when she was in New Orleans and realized people were in jail for simple parking tickets. She realized the same issue was happening in Oakland, where her company is based. After doing some...

Mar 10, 2021

Nigerian Edtech Startup uLesson Raises $7.5M Series A to Lead the Future of E-Learning

uLesson — a Nigerian-based edtech startup — announced this week that it raised a $7.5 million Series A funding round for its online learning platform making remote teaching easier for students. Through both streamings and the use of SD cards, uLesson — the self-proclaimed No. 1 learning app — is able to minimize data and streaming costs in an effort to bridge the education gap within Nigeria and Africa as a whole, Tech in Africa reports. According to TechCrunch, this funding round was led by Owl Ventures — the largest venture capital fund in the world focused on the education technology market — along with other participants such as LocalGlobe and existing investors, TLcom Capital and Founder Collective. This new financing arrives just little over a year after uLesson closed its initial $3.1 million seed round back in November 2019. Since then, the company’s value proposition has increased largely due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the world’s education systems. Just...

Jan 22, 2021

Food Tech Nutrition Brand Muniq Raises $8.2M in Latest Funding Round

CEO and founder of Uplifting Results Lab, Marc Washington created Muniq — the LA-based, innovative consumer health and food-tech brand — in an effort to inspire more people to regain control of their health. Today, Muniq announced in a press release the closing of a $8.2 million Series A investment round. The round was led by Alpha Edison and Acre Venture Partners, in addition to NBA star, Baron Davis, founder of SimplyProtein, Cathy Richards, and more private equity investors.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Muniq (@muniqlife) “I created Muniq in honor of my late sister, Monica, who suffered from diabetes and other chronic health issues,” said Washington, who also has an extensive background as a health and wellness executive. “It’s always been my aspiration to help people regain control over underlying conditions, with products that can literally transform their health and that actually taste good.” Muniq offers products like nutritional shakes formulated with...

Jan 12, 2021

Rihanna Joins Jay-Z and H.E.R. in Latest Investment Round of Black-Owned Food Startup Partake

Partake Foods — the allergy-friendly food company — has announced a $4.8 million Series A round of financing to focus on expansion plans with business mogul Rihanna as the latest celebrity to join the brand’s investment group. Other existing and new investors in the company include Jay-Z’s Marcy Venture Partners, singer H.E.R., FF2032, CircleUp Growth Partners, Kevin Johnson’s Black Capital, Seattle Seahawks’ Bobby Wagner, Black Star Fund, and Once Upon a Farm CEO John Foraker. According to a press release, the Series A financing round builds upon an exceptional year for Partake, whose products can now be found in over 2,700 retail stores — including Target, Whole Foods Market, Sprouts and The Fresh Market. The brand’s Q1 end goal is to double its number of retail relocations landing in 5,500 doors. “With this group of strategic partners and added financing, Partake continues our mission of making super delicious and safe food that those with and without dietary restrictions can...

Jan 8, 2021

How Many Funding Rounds Does Your Startup Need?

Funding isn’t a one-time deal for most startups. It’s common for startups to raise capital via multiple funding rounds, each being a step above the previous. Even when a startup achieves success in a lower round, they continue to raise capital via consecutive rounds in efforts to scale their business to new heights. So, what are funding rounds? How do they work? How do you determine how many funding rounds are appropriate for your startup? We’re glad you asked. Here’s all you need to know: What is a funding round? Essentially, a funding round is a period of time where a startup sets out to raise capital in order to achieve a goal or milestone. In between funding rounds, the startup will continue to improve via sales, digital impressions, or adding new team members to increase the overall valuation, which is evaluated and assessed by potential investors. There is no standard amount of time between funding rounds which is usually determined by founders who feel their valuation has...

Nov 8, 2019