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Former NBA Star Rick Fox's Startup Partanna Raises $12M in Pre-Seed Funding To Combat Climate Change

Rick Fox has been known as an NBA star, an actor, and now, he can add startup founder.

Ngozi Nwanji

Jul 19, 2023

Report Says African Startups Raised $1M Every Two Hours In 2021

The African startup economy is growing faster than the global economy. Last year, various African startups celebrated wins displayed in dollar signs. There was a slew of high-performing investment rounds which included uLesson ($15M), Metro Africa Xpress Inc. ($31M), and MFS Africa ($100M). We could certainly go on but those numbers are proof that African startups are growing at a rate we have not seen before. According to a LinkedIn posting by Founders Factory Africa’s Accelerator Lead Nicole Dunn, it was said that African startups raised $1 million every two hours in 2021 with a total of $4.9 billion invested in African startups. Now more than ever, investments are soaring in Africa. Here is why.

Samantha Dorisca

Jan 24, 2022

Chatdesk Plans To Grow Its Team Thanks To Raising A $7M Series A Funding Round

Chatdesk continues to soar to new heights! Just after the customer support tool finished a year of extraordinary revenue growth, Chatdesk — co-founded by Andrew Olaleye and Aneto Okonkwo — has announced the raise of a $7 million Series A funding round. Thanks to the new funding, the company plans to continue improving customer success and grow the team while creating more jobs in the process. “We’re grateful to our customers and will use the funds to grow our team, help more brands and create even more jobs,” said Chatdesk Co-Founder and CEO Aneto Okonkwo in an official press release shared with AfroTech.

Shanique Yates

Jan 19, 2022

Here's How Founder Jasmine Chigbu Reached Success After Denial From Nearly 30 Medical Schools

Pursuing higher education comes at a cost, but scholarships can be the breakthrough in advancing students to the finish line, and Jasmine Chigbu knows this as she’s experienced it firsthand. As a first-generation Nigerian American growing up in a middle-class upbringing, Chigbu admits finances may not have been flowing but their overall financial health was in good standing. When she attended Duke University for her undergraduate degree in 2015, her family was able to cover half of the cost of attendance. The remaining funds were covered by scholarships, which Chigbu found through research. Although Jasmine Chigbu pursued a bachelor’s of international comparative studies, her overarching goal was to become a doctor and first apply to medical school. After her gap year following the completion of her undergraduate degree, she applied to 25 medical schools. Chigbu became stricken after realizing she had been denied from every school. Chigbu then adopted a new strategy to attend...

Samantha Dorisca

Dec 21, 2021

Founders Of Kenya's Pariti Raise $2.85M Seed Round To Connect More Startups With Investors

Created to support the startup economy, Pariti will continue its efforts with the help of recent funding totaling $2.85 million. The seed round was led by diversity-focused fund Harlem Capital, which secured $134 million earlier this year. Better Ventures, Accelerated Ventures, Diverse Angels, AVG Basecamp, and New General Market Partners participated in the round. “We’re thrilled to be working with Harlem Capital,” said co-founder and CEO Yacob Berhane of Harlem’s participation, according to TechCrunch. “Their focus on data, process and supporting underserved ecosystems aligns perfectly with our mission and makes them an amazing partner for us to build with.”

Samantha Dorisca

Dec 6, 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...

Colleen Williams

Nov 12, 2021

Haitian Founder Mac Alabre Wins $25K From Pitch Competition For His Real Estate Startup

Ambitious startup Lien Library that’s solving the problem of “interacting with and processing lien information on properties” has been awarded a  $25,000 grand prize at the Endeavors Pitch Competition, Miami Herald reports. Lien Library founded by Haitian native Macdeur “Mac” Alabre was conceptualized while encountering issues with lien processing during his time working for the city of North Miami. The 27-year-old was on his way to completing his master’s in business administration and Ph.D., so he put his acquired programming and financial knowledge to the test and developed a new system. The system proved to be promising as it received a stamp of approval from the city of Miami, which is now considering embedding the Lien Library into their internal systems. “I said, ‘I found something, and I think it’s big,’” Alabre said. Now, the startup has won big, taking home the grand prize of $25,000 and an additional $25,000 in credits for Microsoft’s Azure platform. The competition was...

Samantha Dorisca

Nov 8, 2021

West Coast Hip-Hop Legend E-40 Fulfills 'Lifelong Dream' With The Launch Of 'GOON WITH THE SPOON'

E-40 is officially in the food business. The West Coast Hip-Hop legend has dropped GOON WITH THE SPOON gourmet meat products, which features a collection of flavored sausages and burritos in a variety of flavors, including teriyaki pineapple chicken sausage, Philly cheesesteak chicken sausages, hot beef sausages, mild beef sausages and the Choices (Yum) Sausage Bundle. The announcement of GOON WITH THE SPOON comes almost one year to the day after E-40 announced he was entering the food industry. He took to Instagram to celebrate the launch of the company. “Fulfilled a lifelong dream today with the formal launch of my GOON WITH THE SPOON brand & inaugural sausage line!” he captioned a video of him working in the kitchen. “We’re in production and about to take over the food industry now.” Fulfilled a lifelong dream today with the formal launch of my GOON WITH THE SPOON brand & inaugural sausage line! We’re in production and about to take over the food industry now 💪🏾Click the link...

NBA Star Klay Thompson Looks To Score In The Tech World With Investment In Fantasy Sports Startup Sleeper

Basketball superstar Klay Thompson recently scored in the tech world. In a $40 million funding round led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, the National Basketball Association (NBA) star’s Thompson Family Foundation has invested in fantasy sports startup Sleeper, reportedly quadrupling its value to more than $400 million. According to Bloomberg, the funding will be for “product development and hiring in areas including engineering, design, customer support, finance and marketing.” Joining Andreessen Horowitz and Thompson were existing backers General Catalyst and Birchmere Ventures along with angel investors that included Miami Dolphins player Byron Jones and former NBA player Shane Battier, Bloomberg reports. Sleeper’s initial focus was on the National Football League (NFL) and the NBA, but the pandemic’s impact pushed them to extend into esports as well. In addition, the startup also added college basketball this year. “Originally, the goal was to do arena sports and...

Ngozi Nwanji

Sep 16, 2021

Curastory Founder Tiffany Kelly Raises $2.1M Seed Round To Help Athletes Monetize Their Video Content

It’s no secret that collegiate athletes have been cashing in on deals after recent changes to the name, image and likeness (NIL) laws. Now, one startup wants to help them take advantage of the changes by cashing in through another method — the monetization of video content. Curastory — a creator tool — helps student-athletes by “connecting brands in need of video content with athletes, influencers and actors who create video content and are willing to create directly for brands,” Sport Techie reports. “So if you have a video talking about your pregame meditation routine, multiple brands can sponsor that, like Calm,” Founder Tiffany Kelly told Sport Techie. “As opposed to making an influencer post for Calm, it’s natural. You don’t mention Calm, other than audio and logo attribution between breaks, and Calm’s logo just so happens to be on the video.” The unique technology not only allows athletes to have more creative power over their digital content, but Curastory also opens doors...

Ngozi Nwanji

Sep 15, 2021

Fintech Startup Prospa Raises $3.8M Pre-Seed Round To Bring Banking And Software Services To Small Businesses

Startups in Nigeria like Prospa are taking action to help get more businesses running. As the fintech startup aims to provide small businesses with banking and software services, it has closed a $3.8 million pre-seed round which will help them achieve their mission. TechCrunch reports that Prospa — who especially caters to freelancers and entrepreneurs that typically have less access to resources for their businesses — just raised “the largest round of its kind in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa at the moment.” The founding team behind Prospa are Frederik Obasi, Chioma Ugo and Rodney Jackson-Cole. The trio started building Prospa between June and September 2019. According to TechCrunch, the team launched their startup in the act to “cheaply solve the needs of these small business owners in banking and software.” “There’s a massive startup ecosystem in the U.S. where you can basically grow a billion-dollar company just serving YC companies,” Obasi told TechCrunch. “We don’t have that...

Ngozi Nwanji

Sep 8, 2021

Union54, A Zambian Startup, Is Developing Africa's First Card-Issuing API

Zambian startup Union54, which specializes in fintech, has announced that it’s developing Africa’s first card-issuing API. According to TechCrunch, the company founded by Perseus Mlambo and Alessandra Martini claims to be Africa’s first card-issuing API — and while, technically, they’re correct, they initially thought of the idea when they were part of Zazu, their previous startup. Back then, Zazu — which was launched in 2015 — was considered a “challenger bank,” and had to rely on outside vendors to issue debit cards to customers. According to Mlambo, some customers waited as long as 18 months to get a debit card issued in their name. “We just realized that either the processor or the bank was not necessarily well equipped to be able to answer our questions or to be able to give us the product that we’re looking for,” the founder of the Zambian startup said in an interview with the outlet. Because of that, Martini and Mlambo met directly with Mastercard so that Zazu could become...

The Weeknd Joins Chicago-Based Platform Songfinch's $2M Seed Funding Round

The Weekend is adding to his investment portfolio. A Chicago-based platform by the name of Songfinch has announced that its recent $2 million funding round was led by heavy hitters like The Weeknd, Atlantic Records chairman and CEO Craig Kallman, Reverb founder David Kalt, and co-manager of The Weeknd and co-founder of XO Records, Wassim “Sal” Slaiby. According to Digital Music News, the platform — which was co-founded by Josh Kaplan, co-manager and legal counsel for Doja Cat, John Williamson, Rob Lindquist, and Scott Kitun — allows fans to order personalized songs create d by professional musicians. Users can not only specify whether they’d like the song to mention the recipient’s name or the occasion at hand, but they can also select the preferred genre and mood of the song. From there, purchasers will provide personal information and details to allow the creator to craft the personalized track. Services typically cost $249 per work, but, per the company’s website , it is...

Shanique Yates

Jul 19, 2021

Google Launches New Tool To Help Americans Struggling With Food Insecurity

In its ongoing effort to aid in the growing food insecurity crisis, tech giant Google has announced that it has launched a new tool to circumvent just that. According to The Verge, the “Find Food Support” site — powered by Maps — will allow users to find food banks and donation centers within a given parameter designated by the user. The outlet also reports that the tech giant is working with non-profit organizations, like No Kid Hungry & Food Finder, to further aid in their efforts. Google, too, is working in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture to provide an aggregate of more than 90,000 locations of food aid across the United States, and they promise that there will be “more to come.” A recent report by the National Institute of Health reveals the racial and socioeconomic nature of food insecurity. Prior to the pandemic, the national level of food insecurity was 11.1 percent. However, in households led by Black or Latinx people, the level of food...