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A Black Founder's Research: VC's Are Still Pretty White in 2021

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

While this summer was filled with news on race and diversity, the new opportunities to create equitable spaces, the numbers indicate that the investment space still hasn't found room for Black companies.

One Black founder, Vern Howard of Hallo, after a number of venture capital meetings that were laced with racial bias, did the research. His fellow Black founders were experiencing the same events, like being mistaken for a deliveryman when arriving for a prospective investor meeting, so Howard pulled data from Crunchbase to see if this was occurring industrywide.

In Q3 2020, 1,383 companies raised a total of $5.9B; of that, only 31 founders were Black, and their combined total raised was $114.8M (for startups with total funding between $500,000 and $20M).

Black Startups represent just 2 percent of the venture capital raised across the startup space.

This summer, Crunchbase began adding data about the founders' race and ethnicity for the first time. They found that since 2015, less than 1 percent of investments have gone to Black founders.

As we approach solutions to creating a more diverse and inclusive space in the investment industry, check out Mr. Howard's research on Black Founder Funding Q3 2020.

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