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Meet the 52 Black women who raised $1 million or more in VC funding since 2021

Meet the 52 Black women who raised $1 million or more in VC funding since 2021
Careers2 min read
Ami Colé founder Diarrha N'DiayeKatherine Pekala
  • Before 2021, only 93 Black female founders had raised $1 million or more in venture capital.
  • Companies led by Black women typically receive less than 1% of all venture capital funding.
  • Insider is compiling a list of Black female founders who've raised $1 million or more in VC since 2021.

Black female founders in the US face many challenges, but one of the most detrimental is the lack of funding granted to them.

Before 2021, only 93 Black female founders had raised $1 million or more in venture capital, and prior to 2018 just 34 had done so, according to the most recent findings by ProjectDiane, a biennial report on the state of Black and Latinx women founders by the organization DigitalUndivided. What's more, companies led by Black women typically receive less than 1% of all venture capital funding, according to data from Crunchbase.

The fundraising environment has been a rollercoaster for Black founders since 2020. While there was an uptick in VC funding for Black-led startups in 2021 following the murder of George Floyd and the national racial reckoning that followed, that didn't last. Financing for Black business owners dropped 45% in 2022 due to changing market conditions, according to Crunchbase data.

Insider has been tracking the number of Black female founders in the US who have raised $1 million or more in venture capital since 2021. What's more, we asked how they approach the uphill battle and what advice they have for others looking to scale up through fundraising.

Kerry Schrader, a cofounder of the peer-to-peer engagement company Mixtroz, said many funders benefit from the optics of helping Black female founders without actually allocating capital to them.

"We have to remove the entire ceiling so that we all can have the same access without risking bleed-out as we pass through the shards of glass," said Schrader, who raised a $1 million seed round in May 2021. "The only way to fix the problem is to measure progress and be transparent with the results."

Below is a list of the Black female founders who have raised $1 million or more in VC since 2021, listed in order of their most recent funding amount. Insider intends to track and update this list throughout the year.

Dominic-Madori Davis and Miranda Perez contributed to an earlier version of this story.

If you're a Black female founder who's raised $1 million or more in VC funding this year, please contact Alexandra York at ayork@insider.com.

An earlier version of this story misstated the time period in which 93 Black female founders had raised VC funds of $1 million or more. That number described the amount of the years leading up to 2021, not in 2021 itself.

1. Cityblock Health — $400 million

1. Cityblock Health — $400 million
Before becoming Cityblock's chief health officer, Dr. Toyin Ajayi led clinical programming at the Commonwealth Care Alliance.      Cityblock Health

Cofounded by Toyin Ajayi in 2017, Cityblock Health focuses on providing healthcare for marginalized communities.

In September 2021, it announced the closing of a $400 million Series D led by SoftBank, which boosted the company's valuation to $5.7 billion. In total, the company has raised almost $900 million in funding.

2. Savage x Fenty — $125 million

2. Savage x Fenty — $125 million
Before Savage x Fenty, Rihanna was a chart-topping singer best known for her hit singles "Umbrella" "Love on the Brain," and "Work" featuring Drake.      Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

The lingerie line, founded by Rihanna in 2018, announced a $125 million Series C round in January 2022, led by investment management firm Neuberger Berman.

In February 2021, the company raised a $115 million Series B. If Rihanna takes the company public, it could receive a $3 billion valuation. In total, the company has raised $310 million in funding, according to Forbes.

3. Resilia — $35 million

3. Resilia — $35 million
Sevetri Wilson is a serial entrepreneur with a background in communications.      Sevetri Wilson

Resilia, a technology platform that provides services to grow nonprofit organizations and helps large foundations deploy capital, raised a $35 million Series B round in October 2022. To date, the company has raised $46 million.

Resilia was founded by Sevetri Wilson, a serial entrepreneur with a communications background. She said one of her main pain points in raising her seed round was being a Black woman from the South without a network of big tech investors.

Additionally, she said, she noticed investors looking over her fundraising materials with a fine-tooth comb in processes that could take months whereas her white male colleagues completed the due-diligence process in about four weeks.

"I do feel like Black women particularly are also overdiligenced," Wilson said. "I don't think any founders should have to go through diligence for months, at any time period."

4. Promise — $20 million

4. Promise — $20 million
Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins      Courtesy of Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins

Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins launched Promise in 2017. The payment technology company helps people pay off their utilities, transportation, and criminal justice debts sooner and with fewer penalties by offering options like payment plans. Promise's mission is to support underserved residents with the tools and resources they need to manage their payments.

In March 2021, the company closed a Series A round for $20 million, led by Kapor Capital and XYZ Venture Capital. To date, the Oakland, California-based brand has raised $30 million.

5. Praxis Labs — $15.5 million

5. Praxis Labs  — $15.5 million
Praxis Labs has partnered with eBay, Zoom, Amazon, Google and Target to build more socially equitable workplaces.      Makeda Sandford

Diversity, equity, and inclusion-focused learning and development company Praxis Labs raised a $15.5 million Series A round in October 2021, led by Norwest Venture Partners and Emerson Collective with participation from Steph Curry's Penny Jar Capital, SoftBank's SB Opportunity Fund, and others.

"The goal is to find investors who believe in you," said Elise Smith, CEO and founder of Praxis Labs. "It's about getting that person who's willing to take a risk on a Black female founder."

Praxis Labs partners with companies to help their employees and leadership create products, services, policies, and practices that promote equity in the workforce. The platform offers webinars on topics such as bias and discrimination on the job.

6. Goalsetter — $15 million

6. Goalsetter — $15 million
Tanya Van Court is raising a multimillion-dollar Series A, which she hopes to close in October.      (Courtesy of Tanya Van Court)

Tanya Van Court launched Goalsetter in 2016 with the hope of teaching children how to invest and save money. In December 2021, closed a $15 million Series A led by Seae Ventures. To date, the company has raised $18.9 million in funding.

Van Court appeared on "Shark Tank" in 2019; she received an offer from Kevin O'Leary but turned it down.

She's faced challenges in the past, especially when pitching white investors, she said. At first they said Goalsetter was uninvestable, then they invested in a similar white-owned fintech company, Van Court said.

"By the time I raised my first $1 million, about 88% of that money came from Black people, brown people, and women," she told Insider. "White men were not investing in my business."

When she raised this issue with the white investors, they said it was too late for them to invest in her since she had too many well-funded competitors, she said. "It was a constant struggle of Silicon Valley choosing winners out the gate, and those winners were never Black women."

7. Partake Foods — $11.5 million

7. Partake Foods — $11.5 million
Before Partake Foods, Denise Woodard worked in the venturing and emerging brands unit of The Coca-Cola Company.      Partake Foods

Denise Woodard founded Partake Foods in 2016 with the goal of making gluten-free and vegan cookies that exclude some of the top allergens, such as soy, sesame, and peanuts. In October 2022, it closed a $11.5 million Series B with investors including Cleveland Avenue State Treasurer Urban Success Fund, Fearless Fund, Kaya Ventures, and Supply Change Capital.

8. AllHere — $8 million

8. AllHere — $8 million
Before AllHere, Joanna Smith worked as a director at Excel Academy Charter Schools.      Mamadi Doumbouya

AllHere is an educational company seeking to boost student attendance in K-12 schools.

It was founded in 2017 by Joanna Smith, who earned a spot on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2021. In June 2021, the company announced an $8 million Series A led by Spero Ventures, bringing its total funding to more than $12 million, Forbes reported.

9. Thirteen Lune — $8 million

9. Thirteen Lune — $8 million
Nyakio’s passion for beauty products began when her grandparents taught her how to create natural remedies at home.      Robin Black

In January, e-commerce beauty brand Thirteen Lune raised $8 million in seed funding, bringing its total funding to $12.5 million.

Founded by Nyakio Grieco in 2020, Thirteen Lune has transitioned from a sole e-commerce brand to an in-person retailer through a recent partnership with JCPenney. Ninety percent of the brands carried by Thirteen Lune are created by BIPOC founders, who made products for people of all colors, and 10% are dedicated to fostering allyship from non-POC-owned brands.

When Grieco raises venture capital, she expects investors to have a true, deep commitment to moving the needle for change and creating generational wealth.

"It's so thrilling to not even be a year old on this platform and be in such an exciting place of discovery," Grieco said.

10. CodeSee — $7 million

10. CodeSee — $7 million
Before CodeSee, Shanea Leven worked in product management at the tech companies Cloudflare, Docker, and Lob.      Shanea Leven

In January 2022, the coding platform CodeSee raised $7 million, bringing its total to $10 million. The company, founded in 2019 by former Google employee Shanea Leven and her husband, Josh Leven, aims to help companies visualize and understand their code.

Leven said she had a positive experience fundraising and is raising another round. She said she'd noticed a stark difference in the way venture capitalists treated her and other Black women. "They take less of a risk on you," she said.

The rise in Black-focused funds is having some impact on the landscape of venture capital, though there is still much to be done, she said.

11. Complyant — $5.5 million

11. Complyant  — $5.5 million
Before founding Complyant, Shiloh Johnson was a tax advisor.      @thebeautifullifenation

In February 2022, tax-assistance platform Complyant raised a $5.5 million seed round led by Craft Ventures with participation from Mucker Capital, Slauson & Co., and Techstars.

"I feel a deep sense of honor and responsibility being a minority woman and having accomplished something that is so incredibly difficult for most," Johnson said, adding that she was willing to share her knowledge and connections to make the process easier for another Black female founder.

"All the women on this list are proof that we are venture-backable — that we can build big business, dream big, and execute," she said.

12. Five to Nine — $4.25 million

12. Five to Nine — $4.25 million
Jasmine Shells      Courtesy of Jasmine Shells

Jasmine Shells and Denise Umubyeyi co-founded Five to Nine in 2019. The company is an enterprise SaaS, or software as a service, platform that aims to help companies manage and measure employee engagement initiatives and events, like manager trainings and bonding activities.

The company closed a $4.25 million seed round, led by Black Operator Ventures, in April 2022. The Chicago-based company has raised $5.75 million to date.

13. Katch — $4 million

13. Katch — $4 million
Before Katch, Alessandra Knight was a development manager at Carpe Data.      Alessandra Knight

In July 2021, scheduling app Katch raised a $4 million seed round led by the venture-capital firm LocalGlobe and the fund Speedinvest. Other angel investors included the Giphy founder Alex Chung and Classpass CEO Fritz Lanman.

Alessandra Knight, Edwin Akrong, and Paul Murphy launched the business in 2021 with the goal of making calendar planning more effective. (It's still in beta mode.)

Knight said the fundraising journey was "an incredible opportunity."

"As a Black woman, I felt empowered to be there having a seat at the table for our voices to be heard," Knight said, adding that she'd met other founders of color who wanted the same opportunity to sit with venture capitalists.

"I hope we see more of that in the future, VCs who see the value in minorities like me," she said.

14. Curastory — $3.8 million

14. Curastory — $3.8 million
Before founding Curastory, CEO Tiffany Kelly was a sports analytics associate at ESPN.      Tiffany Kelly

Curastory helps creators in athletics make, edit, and monetize their videos. In September 2022, the brand received a $100,000 grant from Google and, in January, closed a seed- and seed-extension round at $3.8 million, bringing the total funding to $6 million.

Tiffany Kelly launched Curastory in 2019, tapping her previous experience as a sports analytics associate at ESPN. "It's crazy that there's this few of us here, but I'm happy that I am one of the few so I can extend it forward," she said.

15. Dispatch Goods — $3.7 million

15. Dispatch Goods — $3.7 million
Tekle and her cofounder Hoell lived off their savings to focus on building Dispatch Goods full-time.      Dispatch Goods

Maia Tekle and Lindsey Hoell are the cofounders of Dispatch Goods, a sustainable packaging startup that partners with DoorDash and local restaurants to deliver food in reusable bags and containers. Once the customers are done with the items, Dispatch Goods collects and cleans the items to then use for other customers.

In December 2021, Dispatch Goods raised $3.7 million in seed funding led by Congruent Ventures with participation from Bread and Butter Ventures, Precursor Ventures, and others.

As a Black woman, Tekle is pleased to have made it this far. "Black women and women in general often have to prove why their ideas are great and why they belong in a room," Tekle said. "It's been awesome to find firms that see us as we are and back us because of it."

16. Seventh Ave – $3.2 million

16. Seventh Ave – $3.2 million
Prior to Seventh Avenue, Jones worked as a product marketing manager at Microsoft.      Diaundra Jones

Social platform Seventh Avenue raised $3.2 million of its $4 million goal for its seed round. The round originally closed in November 2021, at $2.5 million, led by MaC Venture Capital with additional investors including Backstage Capital and Twitter, but reopened with the $4 million goal in 2022. The platform targets Black professionals, creatives, and entrepreneurs and allows them to share and curate content similar to Pinterest.

The company was cofounded in 2020 by Diaundra Jones and Brylan Donaldson, who wanted to create a digital gathering space for the Black community.

Jones called the fundraising journey a learning experience, noting she didn't know what a venture capitalist was before she began, due to a lack of exposure to the space.

"I didn't even realize that less than 2% of capital fundraising went to Black-owned businesses," Jones said. "It's been super humbling to realize there's just so few people who have done this, and to be part of that small number at only 25."

17. Autumn Adeigbo — $3 million

17. Autumn Adeigbo — $3 million
Autumn Adeigbo says that girls who wear her designs are the bright spot of every room.      Autumn Adeigbo

Nigerian fashion designer Autumn Adeigbo raised $3 million in the summer of 2021 for her eponymous clothing brand, bringing her total funding to $4.3 million.

"Black female founders have a track record and a history of outperforming in the entrepreneurial landscape with less resources," Adeigbo said. "To be here is an honor, because most Black women founders in the early stages are not in positions where we get to pick and choose good deals."

18. Kanarys — $3 million

18. Kanarys — $3 million
Mandy Price (left) and Star Carter, two of Kanarys' three cofounders. Before Kanarys, Price and Carter were attorneys.      Kanarys

In January 2021, cofounders Mandy Price, Star Carter, and Bennie King announced that their company, Kanarys, closed a $3 million seed round with investments from 100 Black Angels Fund and Zeal Capital Partners.

Kanarys is a tech company focused on creating systemic change around diversity, equity, and inclusion challenges in the workplace. Kanarys has raised $5.1 million since its launch in 2019.

19. Ruby Love — $3 million

19. Ruby Love — $3 million
Crystal Etienne initially launched Ruby Love in 2015 under the name PantyProp, before rebranding the company in 2019.      Crystal Etienne

Crystal Etienne's startup, Ruby Love, creates underwear and swimsuits with period-leak protection and was launched in 2015. In April 2021, the business closed a $3 million bridge round led by SteelSky Ventures and Base Ventures. To date, Ruby Love has raised $17 million.

20. Boddle — $3 million

20. Boddle — $3 million
Before Boddle, Edna Martinson was a market analyst at the real-estate firm Copaken Brooks.      Edna Martinson

Edna Martinson and Clarence Tan started Boddle in 2018 before launching the platform — an interactive, educational gaming platform for students between kindergarten and sixth grade — in early 2020.

Boddle says its AI-enabled product is used in more than 27,000 classrooms nationwide. In September 2022, the married duo raised a $3 million seed round that included KCRise Fund, Lightship Capital, Atento Capital, and ACT Ventures.

"The fundraising journey is always a roller-coaster ride — especially talking to so many different investors and a lot of lessons learned," Martinson told Insider, adding that she received encouragement from one of her advisors, who reminded her not everyone would understand her vision.

"Not everybody's going to get the vision, but the ones that did, it was just really great synergy," she said.

21. Stimulus — $2.5 million

21. Stimulus — $2.5 million
Tiffanie Stanard      Courtesy of Tiffanie Stanard

Stimulus is a cloud software startup that aims to help companies make smarter purchasing decisions on supply chain providers. Tiffanie Stanard founded Stimulus in 2017.

In July 2022, Stimulus closed a $2.5 million seed funding round led by Black Operators Ventures. This brings the Philadelphia-based startup's total funding to $3.5 million.

22. Sugar — $2.5 million

22. Sugar — $2.5 million
Before Sugar, Fatima Dicko was a master's candidate at Stanford University.      Fatima Dicko

Launched by Fatima Dicko in 2020, Sugar is a proptech startup seeking to make apartment living easier by allowing residents to do tasks such as pay rent and unlock doors from the Sugar app.

In August 2021, it closed a $2.5 million seed round with investors such as Agya Ventures and Concrete Rose Capital. In total, the startup has received 2.6 million in funding.

23. Nourie – $2.5 million

23. Nourie – $2.5 million
Osahon Ojeaga      Nourie

Osahon Ojeaga and her cofounder Mary Ellen Moore partnered in late 2020 to launch the plant-based braiding hair extension brand, Nourie. The product is made of biodegradable plant materials in an effort to address the current sustainability issues in the hair extension industry.

Nourie closed a $2.5 million seed round in September 2022, led by Impact America Fund, SOSV's Indie Bio, and Better Ventures.

"When describing the value of our product compared to the value of what exists in the market today, you can't beat it," Ojeaga said, adding that making that clear is what's led her to success with investors.

24. WorkChew — $2.5 million

24. WorkChew — $2.5 million
Maisha Burt used her experience as a remote worker to build WorkChew, a platform that helps remote workers reserve spaces at participating hotels and restaurants.      Maisha Burt

Founder and CEO Maisha Burt created WorkChew in 2018 with the goal of connecting remote workers with local restaurants and hotels where they could reserve tables or rooms. Users pay for the space through WorkChew, but the restaurants and hotels offer perks like discounted food.

Burt, who previously worked remotely, raised a $2.5 million seed round in March 2021 led by the venture-capital firm Harlem Capital.

"Reaching this milestone lets other Black female entrepreneurs know that they can achieve their goals too," Burt said.

25. Guava — $2.4 million

25. Guava — $2.4 million
Kelly Ifill      Courtesy of Kelly Ifill

Guava is a banking app for Black-owned small businesses and designed to help them track account activity, manage financial growth, and network with other entrepreneurs. Kelly Ifill founded the company in 2021.

In July 2022, Guava closed a $2.4 million pre-seed round, led by Heron Rock Fund.

26. Options MD — $2.35 million

26. Options MD — $2.35 million
Before Options MD, Morgan Hewett worked at Facebook as a client-solutions manager in Singapore.      Morgan Hewett

In November 2022, the medical platform Options MD announced $2.35 million in funding, led by Bread & Butter Ventures, M13, Bright Ventures, and Collab Capital.

Morgan Hewett and Kyle Pierce launched the business in 2020 with the goal of connecting people diagnosed with depression to personalized treatment options.

"As a Black-, Latinx-, female-, and LGBTQ-owned company, my cofounder and I look nothing like the VCs that we often pitch to," Hewett told Insider. "That being said, we feel fortunate to have started our company at a time when VCs are finally acknowledging the importance of investing in both health-tech companies and diverse founders."

27. Fave — $2.2 million

27. Fave — $2.2 million
Jacquelle Amankonah Horton closed a $2.2 million seed round for Fave in May.      (Courtesy of Jacquelle Amankonah Horton)

Jacquelle Amankonah Horton launched Fave, a community for superfans who want to connect with creators, in 2020. The goal was to build a platform where fans can connect with one another, make content about their favorite celebrities, and sell their creations.

In May 2021, Fave closed a $2.2 million seed round led by Female Founders Fund, Sony Music, Quality Control, and others. The company recently reopened the funding round and has reached $3.4 million total so far.

Horton understood the difficulty of raising venture capital as a Black woman, but knew she had to take the chance.

"Because I have such conviction for what I'm doing, it was worth it for me to leave some big company and go start something on my own," she said, adding that she left a role at YouTube to launch Fave. "That is the driving force for me every single day and makes the risk today worth it."

28. Rebundle – $2.1 million

28. Rebundle – $2.1 million
Ciara Imani May is the founder of Rebundle      Curtis Taylor, Jr.

Ciara Imani May is the founder of Rebundle, which sells plant-based synthetic braiding hair with an "end-of-life plan," meaning that after the hair is used, it doesn't end up in a dumpster adding to the world's plastic waste problem.

The company closed its $2.1 million pre-seed round in December 2022. The round includes investors like NBA star Chris Paul and former NFL player Colin Kaepernick.

29. Waeve — $2 million

29. Waeve — $2 million
From left: Tiiso McGinty, Mary Imevbore, and Susana Hawken. Before Waeve, they were all students at Williams College.      Waeve

Mary Imevbore, Susana Hawken, and Tiiso McGinty launched the wig brand Waeve in early 2021. In June 2021, it closed a $2 million seed round led by Pillar VC.

30. Pressed Roots — $2 million

30. Pressed Roots — $2 million
At Pressed Roots, “we focus on silk blowouts all day, every day. Because of that focus, we can commit to saving our customers time, money and effort,” Gaines said.      Pressed Roots

Piersten Gaines, CEO and founder of Pressed Roots, established her Dallas-based hair salon in 2018. Pressed Roots specializes in blowouts, particularly for Black women or those with textured hair.

In March 2021, Pressed Roots raised a $2 million seed round from Slauson & Co and RevTech Ventures. Gaines plans to use the round to build two other locations in Texas.

"I know how tough it can be to raise as a Black woman," Gaines said. "More work needs to be done, but there's progress being made and I'm glad to be a part of that progress."

31. YouGoNatural — $2 million

31. YouGoNatural — $2 million
Monique Little, founder of YouGoNatural      Monique Little

Monique Little launched her hair and beauty company YouGoNatural in 2016, with the goal of creating protective hair wraps for those with natural hair. In April 2021, the company closed a $2 million seed round led by Brand Foundry Ventures.

Calling the fundraising journey "quite grueling," Little said her team spent three months meeting with inventors before making a deal with Brand Foundry Ventures.

"I learned important lessons in making our brand, which historically spoke to a relatively small niche of the market, speaks to a much broader demographic," Little said. "This helped us to make connections and find opportunities that might otherwise not be available."

32. Peero — $2 million

32. Peero — $2 million
Dr. Rachel Angel      Courtesy of Dr. Rachel Angel

Founded by Dr. Rachel Angel, Peero is a Cleveland, Ohio-based app that connects young people with employment opportunities. The app — used by job seekers, employers, educators, and education advocates — helps schedule interviews, find training opportunities, and share job search resources.

In October 2021, the company announced it closed a $2 million seed round, led by CincyTech.

33. MindRight Health — $1.78 million

33. MindRight Health — $1.78 million
Ashley Edwards is the first Black woman in New Jersey to raise $1 million in venture capital, according to Forbes.      Ashley Edwards

Ashley Edwards, a former director of operations of a charter school in New Jersey, founded MindRightHealth to provide mental health coaching for communities healing from trauma.

In June 2022, she raised $1.78 million in seed funding, led by Lifeforce Capital. Edwards is the first Black woman in New Jersey to raise $1 million in VC, according to Forbes.

"Hitting the milestone of raising over $1 million as a Black female founder is incredibly difficult," Edwards said. "Even with the privilege that I have, as someone who went to Stanford and Yale and has access to networks, it was still very difficult to get in the door."

34. Upgrade Boutique — $1.7 million

34. Upgrade Boutique — $1.7 million
Before Upgrade Boutique, Britney Winters worked at Shell Corporation as an advisor.      Britney Winters

The beauty tech platform Upgrade Boutique was founded in 2019 by Britney Winters. In May 2021, it closed a $1.7 million seed round led by Mercury Fund and The Artemis Fund.

The company has raised $2 million in VC capital since its launch, Forbes reported.

35. The Folklore Group — $1.7 million

35. The Folklore Group — $1.7 million
Amira Rasool      Courtesy of Amira Rasool

The Folklore Group is a B2B wholesale platform designed to help founders in emerging markets manage and scale their businesses. Before she launched The Folklore Group, founder Amira Rasool was a fashion writer and editor for publications like Time, Vogue, and Glamour.

In April 2022, The Folklore Group closed a $1.7 million pre-seed round led by Slauson & Co. This brings the New York-based startup's total funding to $1.85 million.

47. Ami Colé — $1.69 million

47. Ami Colé — $1.69 million
(Courtesy of Diarrha N'Diaye)

In 2019, Diarrha N'Diaye launched Ami Colé, an inclusive beauty line focused on products for darker complexions. In 2021, the company closed a $1.69 million pre-seed round led by Imaginary Ventures.

Other investors include The Cut's editor-in-chief, Lindsay Peoples Wagner; the Clique Brands cofounder Katherine Power; and Hannah Bronfman, the founder of the lifestyle brand Healthy, Beauty, Fitness.

36. Happied — $1.6 million

36. Happied — $1.6 million
April Johnson      Courtesy of April Johnson

In 2017, April Johnson founded Happied, a corporate event concierge service that aims to help companies plan for remote, hybrid, and in-person gatherings. The goal of the events are to help teams, clients, and communities build social connections.

The company closed a $1.6 pre-seed round in July 2022. To date, the company has raised $1.72 million.

37. HUED — $1.6 million

37. HUED — $1.6 million
Before HUED, Kimberly Wilson worked in social-media marketing.      B. Alyssa Trofort

In 2018, Kimberly Wilson launched her healthcare platform HUED. In August 2021, she closed a $1.6 million seed round led by Female Founders Fund. Other backers included Serena Williams' Serena Ventures and Black Founders Matter.

38. The Labz — $1.6 million

38. The Labz — $1.6 million
Farah Allen is also the cofounder of The Allen Group, a consulting group that specializes in software development.      Farah Allen

In January 2021, The Labz, an event platform, closed a $1.6 million seed round with investors including Abigail Disney and Adrienne Becker via their production company Level Forward, the Trello founder Joel Spolsky, and Beresford Ventures.

Farah Allen launched the company in 2018 to help businesses host in-person and online events. Companies like Comcast and Amazon have used the service, according to The Labz's website.

Allen told Insider that her fundraising journey was one of "disbelief," with investors asking her to provide traction and revenue five times greater than typically expected of a company at that early stage.

"They may be a pre-seed or seed investor, but they are asking me for Series A or B traction," she said. "The bar moves as we try to seek capital."

39. Agapé — $1.6 million

39. Agapé — $1.6 million
Khadesha Okwudili is also a writer at the health magazine The Mighty and was previously a research intern at Weill Cornell Medicine.      Khadesha Okwudili

In July 2021, the relationship wellness app Agapé announced that it closed a $1.6 million seed round led by Harlem Capital. Founder Khadesha Okwudili launched the company in 2019 and has raised a total of $1.76 million.

The app seeks to strengthen the bond between couples by asking questions — such as "What is your favorite memory" — and sharing the responses with partners.

40. Inaru — $1.5 million

40. Inaru — $1.5 million
Janett Liriano was previously recognized for her textile company Loomia.      Janett Liriano and Erika Liriano

In December 2022, Inaru, a cocoa company, closed a $1.5 million seed round led by early-stage venture firm 1517 Fund.

Janett Liriano and her sister Erika Liriano launched the company in 2020 and have partnered with more than 400 farmers in the Dominican Republic to create their organic cocoa products. During fundraising, the duo was forced to ignore noticeable "double standards" in the way they were being treated by investors.

Erika told Insider they saw others raise millions with just a suggestion of a business plan and no expertise, while they had to compile a "stellar" team, and submit complete data, validated research, farmer contracts, and advanced financial models.

"Janett did most of the pitching," Erika said, "so it was tough seeing her have to push as hard as she did and take it all in stride."

41. Quickhire — $1.4 million

41. Quickhire — $1.4 million
Prior to Quickhire, Gladney worked in communications at Koch Industries, while Muhwezi-Hall was a student advisor at the University of Southern California.      Deborah Gladney

In November 2021, job finding platform Quickhire closed a $1.4 million pre-seed round led by MATH Venture Partners, making its cofounders Deborah Gladney and Angela Muhwezi-Hall the first Black women in Kansas to raise more than $1 million in funding, according to the business website AfroTech. The company raised $1.9 million in total funding since it launched in April 2020.

The hardest part of fundraising was knowing where to start, Gladney said. The sister cofounders would hear stories of people raising millions and figured they could do the same, only to realize they lacked access to many resources that could help them, such as investor contact information.

They also had to learn how to make a pitch deck. "It felt like it was systemically already built for us to be excluded," Gladney said.

42. The Mentor Method — $1.4 million

42. The Mentor Method — $1.4 million
Before The Mentor Method, Janice Omadeke worked for the accounting firm PwC.      Janice Omadeke

Janice Omadeke created the human-resources startup The Mentor Method in 2015. In September 2022, she sold the startup to women's training organization The Cru. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Prior to the sale, she raised a $1.4 million seed round in 2021.

Omadeke was the 94th Black woman to secure over $1 million in funding, AfroTech reported.

43. Goodfynd — $1.3 million

43. Goodfynd — $1.3 million
Abdulrazaaq believes that making the fundraising playing field more equitable for Black women founders starts by treating everyone equally.      Derrick Bryson Taylor

In 2018, Sofiat "Sofi" Abdulrazaaq cofounded Goodfynd, a payment platform that helps users locate nearby food trucks and, in return, helps food trucks take payments from customers. In May 2022, she closed a second seed raise of $1.3 million in the form of a SAFE contract, which stands for a "simple agreement for future equity." Startups use this tactic to raise seed financing capital. In 2021, the company raised a $1.8 million seed round led by the Artemis Fund, Valor Ventures, Accion, and others.

"Reaching this milestone has validated me and given me a confidence boost, but I'm not done yet," Abdulrazaaq said. "I want to see even more women founders and Black woman founders specifically reach this milestone too."

35. Kushae — $1.3 million

35. Kushae  — $1.3 million
Williams previously worked for The Coca-Cola Company and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals.      (Courtesy of Kimba Williams)

Feminine hygiene company Kushae closed a $1.3 million seed round in December 2021, led by venture firm Fearless Fund.

Kimba Williams and Dr. Barbara McLaren, an OB/GYN, launched the business in 2018 after McLaren was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy. She later learned that toxins in her breast tissue were linked to the hygiene products she used daily. Today, Kushae creates non-toxic skin products, like foaming washes and deodorants.

Williams described the fundraising journey as "inundating, daunting, and statistically impossible." To succeed, she educated herself on the process and sought funds with a track record of supporting Black women.

"It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, and I'm a mom of three boys," Williams told Insider.

45. AVEC — $1.2 million

45. AVEC — $1.2 million
Charlemagne believes oftentimes that not, a bulk of community build can happen over drinks.      Sarah Hopp

Natural cocktail mixer startup AVEC raised a $1.2 million seed round in October 2021, led by Gather Ventures with participation from Pharrell Williams's non-profit Black Ambition and others. The company was created in 2019 by Denetrias 'Dee' Charlemagne and Alex Doman.

When creating AVEC, Charlemagne wanted to create cocktail mixers with natural ingredients to build better health and wellness habits in the beverage industry. Meanwhile, Charlemagne is also focused on closing the racial wealth gap.

"Entrepreneurship is one of the biggest ways to close the wealth gap," she said. "Being able to be more transparent about the journey of what it's like being a Black founder and closing that gap is exciting."

46. LimeLoop — $1.2 million

46. LimeLoop — $1.2 million
Before LimeLoop, Chantal Emmanuel was a software engineer at the leadership firm SYPartners.      Chantal Emmanuel

In October, LimeLoop, a sustainable-shipping company, closed a $1.2 million convertible note with investors including the venture-capital firms Silicon Road Ventures and Urban Us.

Chantal Emmanuel and Ashley Etling launched the business in 2018 to build sustainable shipping models for e-commerce brands. To date, the company has raised $1.3 million in funding.

"Raising as a Black woman means we have to prepare ourselves for more 'no's than our peers," Emmanuel told Insider. "But when you are able to weed through and find the people who believe in you and the company you're building, they tend to be some of the best partners out there."

"I dream of the day that being a Black female founder of a venture-backed company is no longer a novelty," she said, "that it's so commonplace that it's not even worth noting."

48. Healthy Roots Dolls — $1 million

48. Healthy Roots Dolls — $1 million
Before Healthy Roots Dolls, Yelitsa Jean-Charles held jobs as a graphic designer. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2016.      Yelitsa Jean-Charles

Healthy Roots Dolls, a toy company made specifically with girls of color in mind, announced in February 2021 a $1 million seed round led by Backstage Capital, bringing its total funding to $1.5 million, AfroTech reported.

The company was founded in 2015 by Yelitsa Jean-Charles and is known for creating a Black doll with natural hair. In 2019, it partnered with Procter & Gamble for a campaign celebrating Black natural hair.

49. Mixtroz — $1 million

49. Mixtroz — $1 million
Kerry Schrader (left) and her daughter Ashlee Ammons. Before Mixtroz, Schrader worked in human resourcing, while Ammons worked in events management.      Mixtroz

In May 2021, the networking app Mixtroz announced $1 million in seed funding led by Black Star Fund. The company was founded in 2014 by the mother-daughter team Kerry Schrader and Ashlee Ammons, and it allows users to create events and other group sessions to connect with each other.

Startup Savant reported that the company said it had worked with Deloitte, Amazon, and Target. In 2018, the company closed a pre-seed round for $1 million. In total, the company has raised $2 million in funding.

50. Health in her HUE — $1 million

50. Health in her HUE — $1 million
Previously, Wisdom worked as a program director for advisory firm Junto Health.      Ashlee Wisdom and Eddwina Bright

Mental wellness app Health in her HUE closed a $1 million pre-seed round in July 2021. The app was founded by Ashlee Wisdom and Eddwina Bright in 2018 and seeks to connect women of color with health care providers and professionals. The company has raised a total of $1.2 million.

One of the hardest parts of the fundraising process was finding the energy to pitch potential backers and run the business, especially when investors weren't clear on the metrics they wanted in order to invest, Wisdom told Insider.

"I'm also an overachiever," she continued. "I know how to be successful, but there is no key to success in this process."

51. Agua Bonita — $1 million

51. Agua Bonita — $1 million
Kayla Castañeda, who identifies as Afro-Latina, launched Agua Bonita with Erin PonTell in 2020.      (Courtesy of Kayla Castañeda)

Kayla Castañeda, who identifies as Afro-Latina, and Erin PonTell launched Agua Bonita in 2020. The fruit-water beverage brand says it doesn't use added sugars and strives to be more sustainable by using surplus and "ugly" produce that might be passed over.

In September 2021, Agua Bonita closed a $1 million round that included participation from Convivialité Ventures, Cedar Capital, and Supply Change Capital. To date, the startup has raised $2 million.

Raising more than $1 million in VC "was never a set goal for us when we started out," Castañeda said. "But we're so glad that we have been able to do it."

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