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Proptech Startup Sugar Raises $2.5M Seed To Transform Apartment Buildings Into Interactive Communities

Amid the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, proptech startup Sugar Living emerged to help enhance the at-home quarantine experience for everyone stuck indoors. Now, over a year later, the Los Angeles-born company is expanding that mission to further connect people in their residential communities through technology. This week, Sugar announced the raise of a $2.5 million seed funding round as it strives to transform apartment buildings into interactive communities with its visionary technology. The round gathered funds from strategic investors across property tech, community and innovation — including MetaProp, Agya Ventures, Concrete Rose, Debut Capital, The Community Fund, Consonance Capital, Lightspeed Scout Fund, and entrepreneur Jason Calacanis’ LAUNCH syndicate. PropTech angels investors who participated in the round also include Wasserstrum and Diran Otegbade, Oleksiy Ignatyev, and Zillow board member Claire Cormier Thielke. According to Sugar founder Fatima Dicko, the new...

Njera Perkins

Aug 27, 2021

Social Media Can Be Fake, But This Founder Aims To Change That By Recreating The Human Experience With Inpathy

In today’s world, it’s no secret that social media is only a small reflection of what our reality truly looks like. From MySpace days to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more, most modern social media platforms have been treated as highlight reels of our lives. But is this a realistic portrayal of the human experience? Artist and tech startup founder Ziarekenya Smith would say, not at all, considering most platforms today do not allow space for people to be fully transparent about both the good and bad events that happen in their lives. This is why he set out to change this with his platform Inpathy. Inpathy is described as a “first-of-its-kind online space designed to deliver the human experience to millions of people worldwide by encouraging transparency, normalizing moods and showing people, it’s okay to express yourself.” Per Smith, the goal of the platform is to “recreate the human experience” to foster a more balanced environment for interactions between people online. Prior...

Njera Perkins

Jul 21, 2021

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...

Njera Perkins

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 — which is described as a conversational media company — initially launched with a mission to become a news and video content app before...

Njera Perkins

Apr 6, 2021

Tech Startup Bevy Raises $40M Series C to Break Diversity Barriers in Tech and Empower Its Black Employees

Tech startup Bevy — the only enterprise virtual, hybrid, and in-person event community platform on the market — announced that the company has just secured a $40 million Series C funding round in an effort to continue helping companies expand their global customer communities and drive radical change for diversity and inclusion in tech. The funding round was led by Accel Partners — for the second time in the past year — with participation from other investors such as LinkedIn, Qualtrics co-founder Ryan Smith, Upfront Ventures, as well as over 25 top Black leaders in the tech industry. Bevy — currently operating with a completely remote workforce located in 10 different countries on four continents — plans to use the new funding to expand its team from 100 employees to 250 later this year. Not only does this new funding round mark a major milestone for Bevy, it also outlines the company’s intentions to establish more diversity in tech so it deliberately carved out more space to allow...

Njera Perkins

Mar 24, 2021

Hurdle Raises $5M Seed Round to Extend Its Tech-Based Mental Health Platform to Black Communities

Over the last year, we’ve greatly stressed the importance of prioritizing mental health in Black communities due to our history of pushing those issues aside. Now, tele-therapy company Hurdle is extending its platform to remove those barriers for Black and people of color. According to a press release, Hurdle — an innovative digital mental health platform — has announced today that it closed a $5 million Series Seed funding round co-led by 406 Ventures and Seae Ventures with participation from F-Prime. Hurdle plans to use this new capital to strategically-scale its tech-enabled platform to help provide support for culturally diverse populations’ behavioral health needs, especially in Black communities. “With depression spiking in Black and minority communities, this year is an inflection point in mental healthcare. The events of 2020 present a unique opportunity for Hurdle to create solutions that work for anyone, but most importantly, for the most underserved populations,” said...

Njera Perkins

Jan 25, 2021

Square One Startup School Looks to Transform Founders' Ideas Into the Next Biggest Tech Innovations

Almost this time last year, tech expert Justin McLeod — founder of his socially-driven marketing consultancy Surthrive — was busy launching the Square One Startup School to bring more diversity into the tech industry and generate more wealth for Black communities. Now, the program is entering the commencement of its third cohort searching for passionate startup founders hoping to transform their ideas into the next biggest profitable tech company. Following the pandemic’s massive impact on the structure of working from home, the tech world has found itself in a unique position to break geographical boundaries and allow more access to opportunities that would’ve been impossible to attain without occupying major tech hubs in San Francisco, New York, and Boston. The Square One Startup School is contributing to this new infrastructure by offering individuals equal access to information and resources to help them build successful tech startup companies, regardless of their geographical...

Njera Perkins

Jan 25, 2021

Two Black and Veteran-Led Tech Startups Integrated Their Platforms to Benefit Black-Owned Restaurants

Technology has proven to be the elite tool this year as it continues to innovate and improve industries all over. Even more so, tech is entering the food industry in ways that overall tweaks the F&B business models to better serve their customers. Prime example, Dashible , a subscription-based deal creation/distribution platform, and EatOkra , a location-based mobile app that helps customers easily find local Black-owned restaurants, have both partnered together to integrate their tech platforms as a means to benefit Black-owned food businesses in the U.S.   View this post on Instagram   We are excited to announce our partnership with EatOkra!! The #1 app for finding black-owned restaurants. Be on the lookout for Dashible deals at black-owned restaurants throughout the city. You can find the deals in the Dashible app or @eatokratheapp • Download both apps today and support local businesses. • • #eatokra #eatokratheapp #deals #shoplocal #supportlocal #supportblackbusiness A post...

Njera Perkins

Nov 6, 2020