Despite, well, everything, the U.S. is still the best place in the world for Black startup founders to raise money. The check sizes are bigger, the market more mature, the ambition oversized. There are more funds, more options, more opportunities, more, more, more.
It’s quite easy to harp on the dismal funding and often discriminatory treatment that Black founders receive in the U.S. Through the haze, though, the reality is that the heart of the American Dream is still beating.
For example, Lotanna Ezeike, a serial founder, said he’s looking to fundraise for his new startup in the U.S., despite raising more than $1 million for his U.K.-based fintech, XPO.
“Across the pond in the U.K., thinking tends to be very limited, especially around the seed stage,” he said, adding that a seed in the U.K. is a pre-seed or family round in the U.S.
“I think this is because of how small the U.K. is compared to other regions, so the mind can only dream so big. It’s a spiral really — less wealth, less capital, fewer ideas that become unicorns.”
Cephas Ndubueze, who is from Germany, echoed similar sentiments. He said he still looks to the U.S. for venture funds for his startup because there are more success stories of Black founders in the U.S. than in Europe, meaning a greater chance of him finding his own path compared to Germany.
“I can definitely say the U.S. is a better environment for Black founders,” he told TechCrunch. “Why? More diverse investors in the U.S. More investors are investing in nontraditional businesses. More institutional investors are providing ticket sizes from $100,000 to $500,000 in the idea stage, more opportunities to build a founder network, and more investors that have already invested in Black founders in the past.”
While the reception of Black founders may appear warmer in the U.S., the numbers show more of the same. (France and Germany do not track race data, though founders and venture capitalists interviewed by TechCrunch revealed anecdotal evidence of persistent racism in both markets.) As an ironic result, founders look to the U.S. for networking opportunities.