Working around social issues has been the go-to way of functioning for many businesses in the past. Historically, Black-owned businesses were often overlooked and practically viewed as non-existent throughout crucial growth periods.
Underserved and underrepresented communities were seen as ways companies could evolve their business without proper compensation (money, freedom, etc.). This gross mismanagement of basic human traits was exacerbated in the 20th century.
Today, black men and women are finally in a position that allows them the freedom to explore the tech industry, without the complete restrictions they previously experienced. It’s safe to say that the black community has received much-needed inclusion in the tech industry, where black businesses thrive. We are still at an early stage of these positive changes, but the next generation of black-owned companies will be in an even better position than we are now.
All of this was made possible by the grit and determination of trailblazers within the black and African-American communities who wanted to level the playing field.
In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the biggest new names in tech that black founders created. All of these companies are startups that have experienced immense growth and profitability and, as such, require investors to help raise capital and ensure expansion in the future.
The 7 Exceptional Startup Companies to Invest in that are Owned by Black Entrepreneurs
- Umba Daima
- Your Green Package
JéGO comes from Miami and is an Autonomous electric vehicle designer company founded in 2021 by Frederick Akpoghene. One of the most innovative companies in the autonomous vehicle space, JéGO, has already taken great strides toward creating electric vehicles that are more accessible.
On top of that, JéGO has begun E-mobility infrastructure development to provide crucial services to underserved communities by making a network of smart electric vehicle charging stations.
With so many tech professionals working on solutions for global pollution and the reliance on fossil fuels, Mr. Akpoghene and his company partners are focusing on problems seldom reported on, such as racial diversity.
By combining green energy and business development to cater to those in need, JéGO is looking to make a substantial social impact while introducing new technology.
Regarding the future of JéGO, the company has already received numerous pre-orders, started a few dozen strategic partnerships, and secured vital capital from investors. The money raised by a company directly corresponds to how ambitious it can be.
JéGO’s partnerships include those with Lamborghini, Masserati, and Ferrari. The company has managed to secure more than $300,000 with a target amount of $1,000,000.
They’re still open for investors looking to make a difference and help JéGO with more funding and market growth.
With the legalization of Cannabis growing, the industry expanded, and more and more companies have begun operating in the cannabis industry.
Calyxeum is one such startup company that has managed to secure $250,000+ in venture capital to expand its services and allow it to create even more plantations to satisfy demand.
Cannabis/Marijuana is a versatile plant with many uses in various industries. Hemp can be made into clothes, bags, shoes, and more, while Cannabis is used for medicinal and recreational purposes.
The number of states where Cannabis is legal is growing as time goes by, and we might soon see federal decriminalization of the plant for good. Such an event would boost sales tenfold, so it’s worth investing in a black-tech firm such as Calyxeum.
Even without federal legalization, Calyxeum is doing great, and its sales have never been better. The company’s primary goal is to bring Cannabis closer to people of color looking for high-quality Cannabis for various needs.
Calyxeum also features a Community Impact Initiative whose mission is to rehabilitate abandoned houses and homes, create community gardens, and provide development programs for black individuals interested in gaining employment and ownership in Legal Cannabis.
Calyxeum was co-founded by black tech specialists with over ten years in the industry while also being social equity entrepreneurs. The firm owns more than 25 retail stores across Michigan and has seen resounding support from the black community in the state.
As with JéGO, Calyxeum is also open to investors interested in this unique opportunity to invest in black-owned tech companies that are on their way up.
3. Umba Daima
NFTs emerged as a blockchain proof of concept for specific uses. They’re most known for creative solutions where people purchase NFT images, some sell for more than $50,000, and the most expensive one earned the artist a whopping $91.8 million!
Umba Daima, however, does not do that. Instead, the company’s mission is to diversify and strengthen the web3 ecosystem using experimental programs and art. They aim to create the most extensive and diverse web3 global network, with NFTs as onboarding and engagement tools.
The future of the tech space will most likely involve digital payments and machine learning, similar to how NFTs and cryptocurrencies function today.
Spreading knowledge about all of this is vastly essential to the overall success of the tech market, and often, startups are the ones to include education the most.
Umba Daima organizes many IRL and online events, workshops, art exhibits, and incubators that drive sales and provide much-needed education to black entrepreneurs, customers, founders, developers, creators, and collectors.
When the pandemic hit, such activities weren’t possible, but now that we’ve slowly started turning the tide against the pandemic, virtual meetings aren’t the norm.
People who onboard Umba Daima with their programming become part of the innovation process and will continue collaborating with the Umba Daima team, brand partners, and each other.
Executive director and founder Iris Nevins was a software engineer, teacher, and community organizer who wanted to provide a community network platform space in web3 where underrepresented communities and groups could be seen, valued and adequately compensated for their work.
Umba Daima’s most recognizable brand is Black NFT Art which promotes black-tech specialists that come up with NFT artwork displayed in the Unseen Gallery.
This is a thriving environment for a venture capitalist that utilizes innovation to generate exposure and capital.
NixCode is a SaaS platform that provides software and education to minorities worldwide, focusing on the US black community. Sydney launched NixCode in April 2020, receiving more funding that has allowed for the expansion of NixCode’s services since then.
The platform is meant to serve people with no technical background or knowledge but who want to launch their tech startup with zero code.
Technology is ever-evolving, but Sydney has managed to keep it simple; her customers are people that are ambitious and eager to learn without going through the complicated process of learning how to code.
She has aligned NixCode to WordPress in usability and simplicity, allowing users easy access to the platform. As a black tech specialist, Sydney understands that everyone should be given a chance to dabble with technology and start their tech startups.
This can only be achieved when you provide non-savvy people with the tools to play around and learn. NixCode provides users with templates, product integrations, and plugin marketplaces. It’s as simple as building a puzzle.
And she’s seeking to expand the black tech world even further. Currently, NixCode numbers over 60,000 users, and the platform experiences 8x organic year-over-year revenue growth. Sydney has managed to do this with equity-free capital by using pitch competitions.
Venture funding can propel startups to the tech industry’s top, but only if their ideas are good enough. Here, Sydney doesn’t rely on venture capital which makes it all the better.
NixCode seems to be headed for the prestigious ‘fastest-growing company’ title, as long as it keeps growing quicker.
Venture-backed startup companies and black entrepreneurs have historically had difficulty getting capital, even after the most crucial funding round. Research shows that just 1.2% of the $147 billion venture capital investment in US startups went to black tech companies.
NixCode will soon begin its first funding round to secure more money for the platform’s growth. The funding round will coincide with NixCode’s newest software release with complete CTO services using remote learning and artificial intelligence.
The first funding round is meant to enable NixCode to add NFT marketplaces and crypto wallets without code for apps built on their mobile app building platform. Overall, the NixCode company and marketing team are doing a stellar job.
Another company entry on our list that revolves around Cannabis, touCanna, is essentially an operations management software meant to help Cannabis businesses scale and expand the service or services they offer while complying with strict regulations set up by the government.
Entrepreneurs and companies that use the touCanna app can easily track and manage their sales, money, and inventory while providing employees tech training and performance management.
Thanks to the platform’s task management and scheduling, they can organize a team to work on specific projects.
TouCanna was founded by a team of earnest and motivated individuals who wanted to get involved in initiatives for helping entrepreneurs of color start their Cannabis businesses and establish a secure presence and role in the legal Cannabis market.
The touCanna team already launched a beta version of its product in 2021. It is currently securing $500,000 in a pre-seed investment round to apply its marketing/sales ideas that will contribute to the effectiveness and functionality of the platform.
The company is currently focused on Michigan, but the founders have mentioned rapid expansion to neighboring states where Cannabis is legal.
Elroi is a company dedicated to reiterating the Consumer-Enterprise power dynamic using advanced tech such as cutting-edge artificial intelligence. Let’s go through their envisioned three-pronged approach to the power dynamic mentioned above.
First, artificial intelligence is what aids enterprise clients comply with more than 130 regulatory and data privacy laws. The sheer number of said laws can hinder a tech company’s progress no matter what technology they might be introducing.
However, with Elroi, this isn’t an issue. Elroi has the technology to service the data mapping process over multiple file systems and platforms, focusing on all types of data (structured, semi-structured, and unstructured).
The software includes PDFs, nested files, and audio and video files in the data mapping process.
The Elroi ecosystem’s second prong is Consumer Solution, a process that empowers consumers with the relevant transparency and access to requested data. This enables them to make informed decisions.
The third prong is the ability to provide consumers with a method with which they can monetize their biggest commodity – personal/private data. Such technology can be dangerous, but CEO Rachel Cash believes that data privacy must be a right.
As such, Elroi’s processes cannot be abused for other purposes. At the moment, Elroi Enterprise Inc is looking to gather $2 million to improve consumer products’ marketing and education.
The company is also seeking to offer its services to consumers free of charge. They also plan on expanding enterprise products and strengthening the relationship between Enterprises and Consumers by threading on the data consumption and privacy equilibrium.
7. Your Green Package
The final tech startup company on our list is Your Green Package. Although not strictly tech, Your Green Package was founded to help minorities reach the top of their respective industries. Specifically the rapidly growing Cannabis industry.
A few years ago, your Green Package was founded and was one of the first minority-owned companies to receive a Cannabis delivery license. It’s also one of the largest delivery companies in Massachusetts.
The company itself was raised from the ground up with diversity and inclusion in mind. Almost 75% of its staff are POC, women, minorities, Veterans, and LGBTQ+.
This culture of inclusion and diversity has cemented them as one of the most respected black-owned startups. Your Green Package has made every customer, stakeholder, investor, and employee feel at home and comfortable being who they are.
The company received its delivery license through a state-run social equity program for communities that were unfairly harmed by Cannabis enforcement laws and prohibition.
In just under one year, Your Green Package established more than six dispensary partnerships in Massachusetts and has, to date, conducted more than 16,000 deliveries. They’ve raised the bar relatively high for any other competing companies, so it’s safe to say this startup has done its job perfectly.
It’s also worth noting that Your Green Package is the only Cannabis company in Massachusetts that can conduct business-to-business and consumer deliveries. But their innovation doesn’t end there!
Your Green Package is also looking to expand its scope of work by creating unique Cannabis-infused products for the market in 2023. The company has already received its provisional license for product manufacturing and is currently looking to raise $2.5 million in support of further expansion.
After the pandemic hit, Your Green Package was already in the process of offering its services to consumers and has managed to weather the storm quite nicely.
Career karma often catches up to those who live with tunnel vision. Some people see minorities as improbable to succeed or incapable of having careers in various industries. And if these people have companies, they are often left behind.
On the other hand, a company focusing on diversity and inclusion can generally incorporate the different cultures and ideas into its stead, boosting efficiency and capabilities.
These seven are excellent choices if you are a serial entrepreneur looking for the next best startup to invest in. But the list doesn’t stop here – dozens, if not hundreds, of similarly successful black-owned startups are making a difference in the world.
These startups are evidence of the success of minorities and black entrepreneurs in the tech industry. They are driving black individuals towards success by showing them that it can be done. The road to the top might still be bumpy, but it’s much better than before.
So if you’re looking to start your own startup, use these firms as examples of how to do it most efficiently. Good luck!