April 2021 Underrepresented Founders - KingsCrowd

May 3, 2021

April 2021 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 KingsCrowd deals and founder profiles from April 2021 that feature traditionally underrepresented founders. 

There were a very large number of campaigns which ended on or close to April 30, 2021. Due to this, we have chosen to prioritize the deals that are still open for investment first. However, we have also included a full list of all the closed April deals with underrepresented founders at the end of this article.


Top Deals

InnaMed

InnaMed is developing an at-home blood testing device called TeleLab. TeleLab is compatible with several disease-specific test cartridges to empower personalized medicine from the comfort of home using cloud computing and patented electrochemical blood analysis technology. The company was founded by Eshwar Inapuri, Alan Jernigan, and Anup Singh in May 2016 and has raised over $2 million in previous rounds of financing. The current round on Wefunder has been rated a Top Deal.


Deals to Watch

Ayoba

Ayoba makes premium, no-sugar beef snacks. The meat biltongs of Ayoba are air-dried, made from grass-fed beef, and are free from any chemicals, soy, or nitrates. Wian van Blommestein and Emile van Blommestein founded Ayoba in May of 2018. The product was voted “Best Meat Snack” by The TODAY Show. The team has already made over $1M in revenue over the past year, making it a Deal to Watch.


Neutral Deals

TFT News

TFT News is an artificial intelligence-powered broadcasting company. The service tailors to the next-generation of content consumers with “tech-enabled journalism.” Alfred Cardenas founded TFT News in September of 2020. The team has early partnerships with AFP and Reuters. The current raise on Wefunder has been rated a Neutral Deal.

FullSkoop

FullSkoop supplies “farm to fridge meals” via self-serve kiosks. Sid Sanhi and Jonnatan Leiva founded FullSkoop in August 2016. These “micro retail stores” offer everything from snacks to beverages and are easy to install in office buildings, airports, and more. The team has raised $500k to date and has been rated a Neutral Deal.

Obi

Obi allows users to access all ride-hailing apps and compare prices to save money. Payam Safa founded Obi in 2014 and has raised over $3.5 million since the inception. Obi has over 130,000 users and more than 235,000 ride bookings to date. The team went through both the Plug and Play Tech Center and Amadeus for Startups accelerators. Advisors to the company come with backgrounds from Google Flights, Expedia, and The Rideshare Guy. Obi’s current round on Republic has been rated a Neutral Deal.

Jetson

Jetson integrates a voice-first SaaS platform into existing smart speakers. The team uses artificial intelligence to upgrade smart speakers like Amazon Alexa and Google Home to enable seamless voice ordering. Peter Peng founded Jetson in 2017 and has already raised $2.8 million in previous rounds of financing. Jetson has signed partnerships with Amazon Pay, delivery.com, Postmates, Shopify, and Square. The marketplace currently has 1.46 million products and over 13,150 merchants. The current round on StartEngine has been rated a Neutral Deal. This is the company’s third round raised through the online private markets.


Founder Profiles

iPill

Nearly 50,000 people died from opioid overdoses in 2019. Furthermore, the CDC estimates that the misuse of prescription opioids costs Americans as much as $78.5 billion every year. Opioid addiction is a national health crisis that needs solutions. iPill is a medtech startup that has developed a patented pill dispenser. Through the use of an app, the dispenser will only release pills for the person who holds the prescription. If the dispenser is tampered with, any unused pills are destroyed — discouraging patients from accessing more than their allotted dose. KingsCrowd reached out to CEO and co-founder John Hsu to learn more about this medical device and what experiences brought Hsu to found iPill.

Jetson

Despite the popularity of smart speakers, one key function is still unavailable to consumers: the ability to order products through voice. Jetson wants to change that. The company has developed an AI-powered platform that allows businesses to embrace voice commerce. And the company has already secured partnerships with major brands like Postmates and Shopify. We interviewed founder and CEO Peter Peng in order to learn more about Jetson, the potential for voice commerce, and where he sees the company heading.

Commissary Club

Richard Bronson founded 70 Million Jobs in order to help the formerly incarcerated find employment. Within 70 Million Jobs, he also formed Commissary Club, a social network that focuses solely on formerly incarcerated individuals. Commissary Club gives them a community and social interaction where there is no stigma based on their record. We reached out to Richard to learn more about the importance of this mission and what investors should know about Commissary Club.


Closed Deals

Top Deals
Deals to Watch
Neutral Deals
Founder Profiles

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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.

View Aryelle Young's articles

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