Black Seed raises £5M to invest in Black founders for inaugural fund


Attention all investors, entrepreneurs, and anyone interested in the future of tech: there’s a new fund in town, and it’s shaking things up. Black Seed, a British early-stage venture firm, has raised a whopping £5 million ($6.2 million) to support Black founders exclusively. This is no small feat, given that Black entrepreneurs in the UK received only 0.24% of all VC funds between 2009 and 2019. But Black Seed is here to change that. In this blog post, we’ll delve into Black Seed’s mission, how it plans to achieve its goals, and why this matters for the future of tech. So sit back, grab a coffee, and read on to find out what the fuss is all about.

Humble Origins:

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of Black Seed’s mission, let’s take a look at how it all began. Launched in 2021, the firm faced delays in regulatory compliance and legal paperwork that postponed their announcement of the £5 million raise. However, it only took six months for the firm to reach its fundraising goal, an impressive feat indeed. Black Seed’s success is a testament to the demand for funds that specifically address the drawbacks faced by Black entrepreneurs in the tech industry.

Addressing Funding Disparities:

Black Seed’s founding mission is to tackle the lack of funding for Black entrepreneurs in the UK. Over the past decade, only 0.24% of all VC funds went to Black British founders, leading many talented individuals to leave the country for the US. Black Seed founders Karl Lokko, Cyril Lutterodt, and Yvonne Nagawa saw this trend and decided to take action. The firm aims to write cheques and bring about change swiftly, focusing on early-stage investing and serving as a “family and friends” round. Black Seed is particularly interested in deep tech, healthcare, and AI but is industry agnostic otherwise.

A Tech Fund and a Community:

Black Seed is not just a fund but a community. Lokko says that the firm exists to bridge the gap and give Black founders the inclusion they deserve. They’re not interested in just being another mentoring program. Instead, the firm wants to provide Black entrepreneurs with tangible resources in the form of funding, connections, and events to network and build their businesses. Part of their mission is to reduce the number of Black businesses in the UK that are self-funded, decreasing it from 88% to at least 50%.

Lyan’s Den and Brixton Startup Weekend:

Black Seed also hosts events in their office in Brixton, a south London neighbourhood known for its Afro-Caribbean population. Lyan’s Den and Brixton Startup Weekend pitch competitions are just two examples of how Black Seed is building and empowering communities of Black entrepreneurs. These events provide Black entrepreneurs with access to funding and networking opportunities that are often closed off to them.

Conclusion:

Black Seed’s mission is essential for the growth of the tech industry and the equal distribution of funds among entrepreneurs. The firm has already raised £5 million ($6.2 million) and hopes to raise another £5 million to close the round. Black Seed will be the catalyst for change in a space that desperately needs it. We must continue to support funds like Black Seed so that Black entrepreneurs can gain the resources they require to succeed. At last, it seems that the tech industry is becoming more aware of the inequalities in access to funding and is taking steps to remedy them.

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