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December 7, 2020

November 2020 Underrepresented Founders

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 Deals to Watch and Neutral Deals from November 2020 that feature traditionally underrepresented founders. Note: There were no Top Deals in November.


Deals to Watch

Future Proof

Future Proof — formerly BeatBox Beverages — is a rapidly-scaling, millennial-focused alcoholic beverage company. After pitching on ABC’s “Shark Tank” and receiving a $1M investment from shark Mark Cuban, the company’s marketing strategy and wholesale networking took off. The company has since pivoted from BeatBox to form Future Proof, now the parent company of an extensive beverage portfolio. The product lineup currently includes a wine-based party punch, canned seltzer cocktails, and alternative packaging wine, under the brand names BeatBox Beverages, Brizzy, and Cørkless, respectively.

UNOMi

UNOMi has created a software platform that makes creating animated content easier, particularly digital speech animations. A major tool on the platform is technology that allows a user to instantly sync animated mouth poses to match the audio from voice-over recordings. The company has also created motion capture technology that does not require a user to wear a special suit or utilize a motion capture facility. Lastly, UNOMi’s suite also includes a 3D avatar builder and a voiceover application that allows audiobook editors to scan over 10 hours of audio. 


Neutral Deals

Pav*r

Pav*r connects with a user’s Google Calendar in order to collect and analyze data. The system can then use that data to generate and export reports that provide a quantified picture of a user’s productivity and time management. Users can create custom event categories and labels when they initially set up the system. Once these labels and categories are defined, the platform keeps track of a user’s behavior. A report of the hours spent on each category and each label can be easily accessed by a user. Pav*r is meant to help people see how they spend their time and to utilize this information to optimize it moving forward.

OTIS Dental

OTIS Dental offers at-home tooth impression kits that allow anyone to create an imprint of their teeth patterns for roughly $100. These impressions — which customers mail to OTIS — and are used to create custom night guards which prevent teeth from rubbing together during nighttime jaw movement. Customers can also sign up for a four, six, or 12 month subscription to receive a new night guard after old ones gather bacteria. Soon, OTIS mouth guards will also include a tech-enabled sensor to monitor grinding patterns and promote dental health. 

Audios

Audios is a cableless loudspeaker company producing high-quality, wireless-enabled loudspeakers for professional events and venues. While the typical loudspeaker requires significant setup time (wiring various cables, connecting several loudspeakers together, etc.) and constant costs to replace cables (up to $1,500 per year), Audios loudspeakers are simple and easy to install. Users can simply place Audios loudspeakers on stands distributed around the event location and press the power button on each speaker. The speakers automatically connect to each other wirelessly, ready to play from any source of audio. Audios’ technology (wireless speaker connectivity, battery replacement systems, etc.) is patented or moving toward being patented — two patents have been granted, one is pending, and three are awaiting submission.

Million Marker

Million Marker uses chemical metabolites and personal exposure analysis to help people measure and track their exposure to toxic environmental chemicals. Million Marker aims to sell testing kits to the consumers and build a comprehensive chemical metabolite database. Jenna Hua founded Million Marker in May 2019. Under her leadership, the company developed a partnership agreement with the University of California. 

BAOBAB

BAOBAB is a versatile, sustainable, and durable polo shirt brand. Brandon Davenport and Marcellus Alexander III founded BAOBAB in November 2016. The product was awarded “‘Best New Polo Shirt of the Season’ by Men’s Journal” and has been featured on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” Yahoo Finance, Heavy, Bleu Magazine. The team is currently raising funds on Republic. The proceeds of the current crowdfunding round, with a minimum goal of $25,000 and a maximum goal of $1,070,000, will be used to expand the product line, develop additional retail partnerships, and maintain the production and distribution channels.

The Luving Company

The Luving Company creates zero-sugar, vitamin-enhanced beverages for kids. The beverages give kids a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals, without a load of harmful sugars. Founded by Ashi Jelinek in 2018, The Luving Company is currently in over 1,500 stores, including Walmart, CVS, Natural Independents, and Amazon. This female-founded & minority-owned company was also “recognized in Forbes’ 8 Mission-Driven Companies Reinventing the Packaged Food Industry.”

Trashless

Trashless is a zero-waste local grocery delivery service, eliminating the use of single-use packaging. Founded by Yogesh Sharma and Ved Prakash in April 2016, the company is currently raising funds on StartEngine. The team’s goal is to make sustainable living both easy and affordable. If you are looking to support minority founders as well as sustainability initiatives, an investment in Trashless may be a great fit.


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About: Aryelle Young

Aryelle Young is a published writer and editor with experience across industries. She has worked with an independent publishing company and as a proposal writer for a government contractor. Her original work has also been published in various journals and one short story collection. At KingsCrowd, she strives to provide insightful and actionable content for all readers. Aryelle graduated with a Creative Writing degree from George Mason University.

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