Market News - August 6, 2021

July 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 July 2021 that feature traditionally underrepresented founders. 

Deals to Watch


Gryphon makes WiFi routers that offer a protected, cloud-managed network that allows homes and offices to connect to the internet. The company’s cloud-based systems can identify and remove malware, enable parental control over children’s devices, manage screen time, and utilize artificial intelligence to protect users from hostile third parties. John Wu and Arup Bhattacharya founded Gryphon in 2014 and have raised more than $5.5 million in previous rounds of financing.


Pickzen is a business-to-business guided e-commerce solution that allows businesses to easily integrate decision tree algorithms for customers to receive personalized recommendations. The no-code platform allows non-technical team members to help implement guided search and recommendation tools to improve the e-commerce experience. The company was founded by Brendan Medeiros and Isidro García Hernández in 2017. Pickzen has already achieved profitability and is targeting a massively growing market.


Arc is a global talent marketplace matching skilled developers with remote development jobs. Arc grew out of Codementor, a very successful developer mentorship community that boasts 900,000-plus members and has facilitated more than 200,000 mentorship sessions. Driven largely by the popularity of Codementor, Arc generated almost $12 million last year (and turned a profit). It was founded by Weiting Liu in 2013.

Neutral Deals

Mainstem Malt

Mainstem Malt supplies malt for craft brew and spirits producers. It sprouts raw grains, dries them in a kiln, and roasts them to produce its malts. It ​​pushes to achieve supply chain sustainability and transparency for its consumers. The company is also focused on establishing its brand by featuring specific varieties, fields, and even family farms on its roster. Phil Neumann and Alyssa Martinez Neumann founded Mainstem Malt in 2018.


Immersed has built a technologically-advanced application that allows anyone with a virtual reality headset (like Facebook’s Oculus) to create virtual workspaces. The company is tapping into key emerging markets: remote work collaboration tools and virtual reality. Immersed has a world-class team of technologists building its product, and the company has been backed by mainstream venture capital firms like Techstars. Renji Bijoy founded Immersed in 2017.

Gilgal General

Gilgal General is working to build the first annuity contract trading exchange marketplace in the world. Users will buy or sell annuity products at existing market rates commission-free. These annuities would be provided directly by the insurance companies that issue them. To make the process simple, Gilgal intends to standardize the contracts and clear them through its own entity called Gilgal Exchange. Alexander Ampontuah founded the company in 2019.

Leap Club

Leap Club is a Y Combinator-backed organic produce delivery startup in India. Customers can use Leap Club’s WhatsApp chatbot (or the company’s website) to order a variety of farm-fresh fruits and vegetables and receive the delivery in less than 12 hours. The company has roughly 1,000 monthly active users and is making around $22,000 per month. Shubham Bansal and Divish Gupta founded the company in 2019.

4th Ave Market

4th Ave Market is a Black-owned personal care marketplace offering haircare, skincare, and other products specifically for people of color. The company has a noble, focused goal of capturing value from the Black community and delivering it back to the Black community, including partnerships with Black leaders, a revenue-sharing program for brand ambassadors, and more. Salim Holder and Timothy Wells founded 4th Ave Market in 2020.

Tadah! Foods (Raise is closed)

TaDah! is a plant-based food brand selling East Mediterranean frozen foods, primarily frozen falafel wraps and falafel poppers. These products are designed with both health and convenience in mind as they are not heavily processed and can be quickly prepared in the microwave. John Sorial founded Tadah! in 2020. aims to provide a cost-effective video editing solution for businesses of all sizes. Its flagship software that lets remote teams search, tag and manage their media through a simple browser interface. The second main feature is, which serves as a no-code visual workflow tool that builds automated video processes.’s final feature is called, which provides simple transcription services. Sam Bogoch, Patrice Gouttebel, and Katy Scott founded the company in 2018.


LimeLoop is a business-to-business subscription service for reusable smart packaging. The solution reduces the environmental impact of online shopping and tracks statistics on temperature and open rate, among other user engagement metrics. Ashley Etling and Chantal Emmanuel founded LimeLoop in 2017. 

Pulse Protocol

Pulse Protocol is building a marketplace for providers around the globe to connect with patients in need, bringing the power of technology and globalization to medical tourism. The service is a software and marketing platform that provides doctors and healthcare professionals an intuitive way to manage their medical travel businesses and reach patients more effectively. ​​Patients are connected to a coordinator, who collects their information and places them with the best provider for their needs. Robert Page, Jonathan Edelheit, and Renée-Marie Stephano founded Pulse Protocol in 2015.


Roboligent makes intelligent robots that automate mundane and manual tasks in areas such as clinics and logistics. The robots are based on patent-pending force-control technology and are integrated with AI. Bongsu Kim founded Roboligent in May 2016. Roboligent is vetted by National Science Foundation and has already established commercial collaborations for robot supply, with the first unit shipped. The company is raising funds on StartEngine via common equity.


Univoice is a mobile app that teaches a variety of languages through music and singing. Univoice teaches a language as spoken in the real world, including informal words and slang speech. Users select the language and genre of singing, start singing along, and receive feedback on pronunciation of words. Sami Halabi founded Univoice in September 2018. Univoice is rated 4.6 on Apple Store and 4.7 on Play Store and has been awarded the Top 50 Tech Innovators & Influencers award at InterCon 2020.

Founder Profiles

Ola Filter

Ola Filter has designed a patent-pending and affordable water filter with the goal of ending water poverty in developing countries. The design can be easily produced and scaled to help save money on water. Elizabeth Clandos and Monika Goforth founded Ola Filter in March 2021. Ola Filter plans to begin production in the summer of 2021 and enter the Central American market in the fall of 2021. The design has won the Aurora Consulting RISE award for provisional patent filing. The company is currently raising funds on Raise Green.


Eventcombo is an event technology company that enables virtual, in-person, and hybrid events. Saroosh Gull founded Eventcombo in 2015. Eventcombo is working in response to COVID-19 as a complete organizational solution for integrations, CRM, donations, ticketing, memberships, and communications. The company has serviced over 40,000 events with more than 7,500 organizations. It has partnered with strong brands to ensure full coverage of the events.
 The company is currently raising funds on StartEngine.


Univoice is a mobile app that teaches a variety of languages through music and singing. Univoice teaches a language as spoken in the real world, including informal words and slang speech. Users select the language and genre of singing, start singing along, and receive feedback on pronunciation of words. Sami Halabi founded Univoice in September 2018. Univoice is rated 4.6 on Apple Store and 4.7 on Play Store and has been awarded the Top 50 Tech Innovators & Influencers award at InterCon 2020. is a video software company that helps media teams manage, transcribe, and search video content remotely. was founded by Patrice Gouttebel, Sam Bogoch, and Katy Scott in July 2018. has more than 700 paid customers, including Paramount, NY Yankees, and NBCU, and reported sales of $667,000 in 2020. The company is currently raising funds on Republic via Crowd SAFE with a $9 million valuation cap.

Gilgal General

Gilgal General is developing the first electronic trading exchange for global annuity contracts. The trading exchange platform will bring the buyers and sellers of annuity contracts together in one central marketplace to trade annuity contracts. Alexander Ampontuah founded Gilgal General in November 2019. Gilgal General has a four-year contract agreement with ICE and has eight US insurance companies that have agreed to be part of the platform. The company is currently raising funds on Wefunder.

Lila Labs

Lila Labs helps people navigate relationships, including self-discovery, social discovery, and relationship building via astrology. Ricky Williams, Linnea Miron, and Steven Forrest founded Lila Labs in March 2019 and raised over $155,000 since the inception. Lila Labs has a strategic partnership with AstroTwins and is catering to a total addressable market of over $9.2 billion. The company is currently raising funds on Republic.

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 more articles by Aryelle

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