At KingsCrowd, we want to be part of the democratization of startup investing. We also want to do what we can to uplift underrepresented founders. To those goals, we have put together all the KingsCrowd deals from December 2020 that feature traditionally underrepresented founders. Note: Due to the holidays, overall deal publication was light for December.
SmartGurlz is an education technology company with a focus on girls and minorities. The company creates coding games and products for kids, including robots, apps, and dolls that promote at-home learning through play. Founded in 2017 by Sharmi Albrechtsen, SmartGurlz has raised more than $2.8 million from previous rounds of funding. SmartGurlz has generated over $2 million in revenue and proven itself during COVID-19. The platform has educated over 1,000 kids through e-learning during the pandemic and is working hard to promote gender diversity in STEM.
Through the Fanbase mobile app, users can place their own custom content for viewers to appreciate. In addition to following users for free, it’s also possible to pay for a premium subscription, with prices starting at $3.99 per month. This gives users access to exclusive content and to content that gets released to the free users after a set period of time. The company is positioning itself as a general content provider as opposed to a niche player. Fanbase intends to pursue this opportunity in the black entertainment market first. The company cited black users as among the most significant for various social media platforms, including Twitter and Instagram. Other opportunities include the broadcast of live content, including live concert hosting.
Booxby aims to transform the way book marketing works, and indeed, marketing of all kinds of media. Using machine learning and a technique called Natural Language Processing (NLP), Booxby plans to automate some of the processes of book publishing and do so far more effectively than traditional publishers can. The company’s proprietary software scans stories, analyzes them to filter out derivative works, and targets audiences that are predisposed to favor the chosen works. Booxby’s technology is currently still in beta.
PetroFunders is an online platform for investing into oil and gas companies. The business gives retail investors the ability to invest in companies that would previously be unavailable to them. The PetroFunders team –which brings more than 100 cumulative years of oil and gas industry experience — noticed that there exists no easy and streamlined way for retail investors to access smaller, more tailored products within the oil and gas industry. Their business model capitalizes on the growing prevalence of crowdfunding and gives investors the opportunity to profit from their platform.
Move is a digital retailer that is aiming to disrupt the $656 billion U.S grocery market. It hopes to be a business that’s better for everyone involved in the consumer process — from the food producers to order packers to delivery drivers. Move’s business model gives customers only one brand of each product to purchase — with each producer picked specifically for creating a quality product. As of 2020, the company has partnered with Michelin starred chefs and celebrity bakers to supply their goods to its customers. The lack of extra brands, according to Move, makes the whole shopping experience streamlined and efficient.
Wallstreet has Morningstar, S&P, and Bloomberg
The equity crowdfunding market has Kingscrowd.
About: Olivia Strobl
Olivia comes to KingsCrowd with a background in venture capital and technology. She spent time at Glasswing Ventures, an AI-focused venture fund in Boston, before joining the KingsCrowd team. There she helped develop machine learning algorithms for the opportunity qualification of preseed and seed-stage startup companies. Prior to her time at Glasswing, Olivia worked in a lab studying the neural correlates of attention. She holds a degree in Neuroscience from Wellesley College.