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Local Black-Led Tech Startups Get Funding Boost from Google | Black Voices | Chicago News

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Two local Black-led startups recently received some welcome news. 

The leaders of events management platform Eventnoire and revenue management tool for the vacation rental industry Buoy Pricing were awarded $100,000 each from the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund. The money is awarded to promising Black tech ventures, which historically have had difficulty accessing capital. 

According to a report by Crunchbase, in 2020, U.S. companies raised nearly $150 billion dollars in venture capital, but Black startup founders received less than 1% of that total.

Both startups plan to use the money in part to bring in more technology development talent to help them grow.

“It’s going to allow us to double down on the engineering that’s required to stay relevant. We can’t afford at any moment for our website to go down,” said Eventnoire’s chief marketing officer Joshua Mercer. “It’s also going to allow us to do more marketing and more branding that’s needed to spread the word about our platform and what we’re seeking to accomplish.”

“Honestly, it’s been really hard to raise money and all of our competitors are venture backed – and this company is run by myself and my husband,” said Buoy Pricing co-founder Candice Speicher. “This money is going to continue our mission of building technology that’s really helpful for users.”

Mercer says having targeted funding for Black startups is crucial to creating a more equitable tech environment.

“We’re always on the consumer side, and never on the decision side,” he said. “So to have people who look like you, it’s going to be more intention and more thought, and less manipulation when it comes to technology.”


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