Google backs £1.5m European fund for black founders

By Daniel Lanyon on Tuesday 2 March 2021

Alternative LendingDigital BankingSavings and Investment

Black-led startups in Europe currently receive less than 0.25 per cent of venture capital funding despite making up 3.5 per cent of tech startups.

Google backs £1.5m European fund for black founders
Image source: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Google is backing a new £1.5m ($2m) fund investing in tech start-ups led by black founders, aiming to help close a vast gulf in venture capital flows.

Less than 0.25 per cent of venture capital (VC) funding going to Black-led startups in the UK, and only 38 Black founders receiving venture capital funding in the last 10 years

Black founders are disproportionately lacking access to both the networks and capital needed to grow their businesses, Google says.

Rachael Palmer, Head of VC and Startup Partnerships at the tech giant says, a similar fund in the US saw huge uptake in high-calibre applications.

"Our hope is that this will be part of a wider commitment to change from the entire startup ecosystem. In the future, we want to see more successful black founders, more black angel investors, and more black general partners at the most successful VC firms. There’s a lot of work to be done, but I am extremely pleased that Google is committed for the long term.”

Successful applicants will receive up to $100,000 in non-dilutive cash awards paired with up to $220,000 per startup in Google Ad Grants and Cloud credits.

Applications are now open here and close on 21 March 2021. Google says the fund is open to tech startups in the UK with one or more founders that self-identify as black and that have a product already in the market.

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