Local black-led tech startups get funding boost from Google | Black Voices | Chicago News

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

The Leaders in Event Management Platform eventblack and revenue management tool for the vacation rental industry Buoy pricing received $100,000 each from the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund. The money is awarded to promising black tech companies, which have historically struggled to access capital.

According to a report by Crunchbase, in 2020, American companies raised nearly $150 billion in venture capital, but founders of black startups received less than 1% of that total.

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

“This will allow us to double the engineering needed to stay relevant. We cannot afford for our website to go down at any time,” said Eventnoire Marketing Director Joshua Mercer. “It will also allow us to do more marketing and branding, which is necessary to create awareness of our platform and what we seek to accomplish.”

“Honestly, it’s been very difficult to raise funds and all of our competitors are backed by venture capital – and this company is run by me and my husband,” said Buoy Pricing co-founder Candice Speicher. “This money will further our mission of developing truly useful technology for users.”

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

“We are always on the side of consumers, and never on the side of decisions,” 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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