Google opens $4m startup fund to ‘unlock’ Black talent
Google is putting its money where its mouth is in terms of addressing inequality in venture capital funding through the launch of this year’s Black Founders Fund.
This fund is a direct response to the fact that less than 0.25% of venture capital funding is awarded to Black-led startups
The internet giant has set aside $4m to power growth at Black-led tech startups through hard cash and support to help level the playing field with support from ITV, WPP, Soho House and Allen & Overy.
Open to applicants from across Europe, the fund allocates up to $100k in cash to businesses that demonstrate the greatest potential for leveraging technology to deliver creative solutions. Google also offers $200k in cloud credits and as support, as well as 1:1 mentoring by industry experts drawn from its network.
Launched last year, the fund is a direct response to the fact that less than 0.25% of venture capital funding is awarded to Black-led startups. These biases conspired to see a scant 38 Black founders receive venture capital funding in the past decade.
Sharing in Google’s $2m largesse in 2021 were 30 startups drawn from across Europe (including 20 from the UK), including audio gaming specialist Audiomob, legal technology firm Definely and education influencer platform Scoodle.
Rachael Palmer, head of VC and startup partnerships, EMEA, Google, said: “The fund’s recipients have demonstrated that there’s a whole world of untapped potential within the Black community and many overlooked investor opportunities. We’re keen to unlock even more of this talent. That’s why we’re doubling this year’s fund and inviting organizations that share our vision to join us in helping to transform the startup ecosystem, and facilitate more equal access to funding so we can go further together.”
Fund partner ITV will plays its part by providing £1m of airtime and production to selected businesses, with those best placed to capitalize on television marketing invited to attend media education workshops.
WPP meanwhile has made available its marketing expertise, while Soho House provides complementary access to its community of entrepreneurs. Allen & Overy rounds off the support package with a custom workshop setting out the legal pitfalls associated with scaling a business.
Content created with:
Google is committed to helping businesses thrive in a privacy-first world. The technology giant works with thousands of businesses and agencies to help them prepare for a future without third party cookies. Using privacy-preserving technologies, built on machine learning and automation, it can fill reporting gaps and understand people’s needs in a privacy-centric way.Find out more