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Black Founders Spotlight

Black Founders Spotlight
January 18, 2021

The Daily Stack is a daily private market insights newsletter by PrivCo, a private company intelligence platform. Read our previous insights.
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Today, we pay tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. and his devotion to ending racial injustice in the US. While in 2021 we may not see public marches and parades to honor this day due to the global pandemic, we are reminded that today is a day of showing up and supporting where we can. While we see that Black founders still continue to receive less than 1% of VC funding, we are also inspired by the growing number of Black (and minority-founded) startups. Here we spotlight a small number of Black-founded startups that proudly honor their heritage.


Credit: Unsplash

Beauty Bakerie is an eCommerce company that produces and sells cosmetic products globally. It was founded in San Diego in 2011 by Cashmere Nicole, a cancer survivor intent on bringing to market health-conscious and research-driven products for the body. Although she started her brand through crowdfunding, she captured investments from Beyonce and Unilever Ventures in 2018. 

Squire provides a mobile application that allows the client to book and pay for a haircut or shave in three clicks. Its platform also gives local barbershops the tools needed to connect with existing clients and gain new ones. Squire Technologies was founded in 2015 by Dave Salvant, Songe LaRon, and Yas Tabasam in New York. The company received multiple rounds of funding in 2020 and has tripled its valuation from a year ago.

Jupiter taps into the growing grocery delivery needs of consumers with a subscription grocery delivery service. The service is Blue Apron meets Instacart with meal planning recommendations to build your shopping cart and a personal shopper to buy on your behalf. Jupiter was founded by Chad Munroe, Anna Pinol, Anuraag Nallapati, and Will Yin in 2019. In June 2020, the company received seed funding led by Y Combinator. 

Chipper Cash is an African cross-border fintech startup founded in 2017 by Ham Serunjogi and Maijid Moujale and provides mobile-based, zero-fee, peer-to-peer money transfer services in seven countries in Africa as well as a merchant-focused checkout payment service. The company taps into the largely unbanked African population and has raised two funding rounds in 2020, including well-received participation from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s personal VC fund.

Pigeonly is a telecommunications company focusing on underserved minority communities. It was founded in 2013 by Alfonzo Brooks, Damien Drakes, and Frederick Hutson. The company focuses on low cost, simple calls to inmates using VOIP technology and came from the founder Frederick Hutson’s time when he was incarcerated.

A VC’s Guide to Investing in Black Founders 
A very thorough guide by VC investor James Norman on his experience helping Black founders obtain the resources to scale.
[HBR]
Baidu enters smart car business
The Chinese search engine is partnering with car manufacturer Geely Holding to become a strategic partner and start a new vehicle manufacturing company.
[China Money Network]
Since last week, PrivCo has added:
863 Companies | 308 Funding Activities | 208 M&A Deals

Funding & Deal Highlights:

Cockroach Labs raises $160MM led by Altimeter Capital 
Data Management Software & Internet Services • Round E • New York, NY

Reggora raises $30MM led by Spark Capital
Real Estate Software & Internet Services • Round C • Boston, MA

You & Mr Jones raises $60MM led by Merian Chrysalis Investment
Advertising & Marketing • Round B-2 • New York, NY

Landing raises $55MM from multiple investors
Real Estate • Round B • Birmingham, AL

airSlate raises $80MM 
Document Management Software & Internet Services • Equity • Boston, MA

M-Files raises $80MM led by Bregal Milestone
Automation Software & Internet Services • Equity • Dallas, TX

Tessera Therapeutics raises $230MM led by Softbank Vision Fund, Alaska Permanent Fund, and Altitude Life Science Ventures 
Biotechnology • Round B • Cambridge, MA

Earli raises $40MM led by Khosla Ventures
Biotechnology • Round A • South San Francisco, CA

Gemini.com acquires Blockrize 
Investment Management & Financial Advisory • Acquisition • San Francisco, CA

Salt Creek Capital Management acquires Cul-Mac Industries
Chemicals & Plastics • Acquisition • Wayne, MI

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