Black Founders Matter announces first investment in a Black founded Portland startup

The dynamics of venture funds are very much akin to the dynamics of startups. It’s rarely smooth. It’s often a series of fits and starts. And fundraising. And pivoting. Until a fund really hits its stride. But I’m happy to report that Black Founders Matter is beginning to get some early traction and has announced its first investment as part of the funding for A Kids Book About.

Malia Spencer at Portland Business Journal announced the news:

[Jelani] Memory [founder of A Kids Book About] grasped the importance of what [Marceau] Michel is building and made room in his round for Black Founders Matter to participate. Both are alums of the Portland Incubator Experiment.

“I told Marceau that I wanted him to be my first check in the company when I was starting it, turns out he’ll be my last check (in this round),” Memory said. “I was committed to making sure that more Black and Brown investors had a stake in my company and be able to participate in the wealth creation if we’re successful.”

Within two hours of making initial calls to investors to get into Memory’s round — which was quickly closing — Michel and [Himalaya] Rao-Potlapally had commitments for about double the money they were initially seeking.

For more on the concept of Black Founders Matter, see Marceau’s presentation at PIE Demo Day 2019.

For more on the announcement, visit the Portland Business Journal.

[Full disclosure: Black Founders Matter and A Kids Book About are both part of the PIE family. I am the cofounder and general manager of PIE.]

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