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Fintech Guava raises $2.4M to provide banking services to Black small-business owners

Fintech Guava raises $2.4M to provide banking services to Black small-business owners Image
  • Posted on 26th Jul, 2022 15:18 PM
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Founded last year, Guava aims to reduce the racial wealth gap by providing financial services to Black small businesses.

Guava, a banking and networking platform targeting Black entrepreneurs, announced today the closing of a $2.4 million pre-seed round led by Heron Rock.

Founded last year by Kelly Ifill, the company aims to narrow the racial wealth gap by providing financial services to Black small businesses and creators. The digital banking platform — set to launch early next year officially — allows entrepreneurs to check expenses, budget, transfer money, track growth, and connect with other entrepreneurs looking to scale their businesses.

Ifill said fostering a safe community for Black founders is a personal passion, noting that small businesses are the “backbone” of the U.S. economy. She said entrepreneurship could be an economic and social equalizer if Black people received more opportunities to participate equitably.

Indeed, the Harvard Business Review reported last year that Black women are more likely to start businesses than white men. At the same time, Bloomberg reported that Black founders — Black women specifically — were the fastest growing cohort of entrepreneurs. And yet, Black founders receive less than 2% of all venture capital funding, and only 3% of Black women run mature businesses. During the pandemic, more than 40% of Black businesses shuttered, compared with 17% of white-owned businesses; furthermore, the cohort was disproportionately unable to secure Paycheck Protection Program loans to keep their businesses afloat.

“Black folks had to be entrepreneurs, we had to build businesses to support our families, but because of racism, we were excluded from so many opportunities,” Ifill told TechCrunch. “Guava aims to tackle the racial wealth gap head-on by facilitating the growth and resilience of Black small-business owners, creators, and entrepreneurs.”

Fintech Guava raises $2.4M to provide banking services to Black small-business owners View Story

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