Black Tech Nation Ventures raises $50 million in inaugural fund to push minority tech involvement

BY Preta Peace Namasaba March 7, 2024 6:29 AM EDT
(L-R) Seán Sebastian, Kelauni Jasmyn and David Motley, General Partners at Black Tech Nation Ventures. Photo credit: Black Tech Nation Ventures

Black Tech Nation Ventures ( has raised $50 million in an inaugural fund to drive investment in Black and diverse-led technology startups. The Pittsburgh-based venture firm believes that Black, Latinx, female, indigenous and LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs have the potential to generate outsized returns. It invests in high-potential companies at the seed and pre-seed stage.

“We set up to equip and train a new generation of more diverse entrepreneurs and investors. We are committed to providing intellectual as well as financial capital to help our founders navigate growing a successful company and opening up opportunities for future venture capitalists who are Black or diverse to participate in the industry,” David Motley, General Partner explains the fund’s purpose.

Already, has invested in over ten startups in Atlanta, Boston, the District of Columbia, Indianapolis, New York, and Pittsburgh. The fund is mainly interested in technology companies that are driving change and unlocking outsized value in fintech, ed-tech, health tech, climate tech, and AI and machine learning sectors.

It has funded EMTECH, a fintech infrastructure company; Goodfynd, an enterprise solutions provider for food truckers and mobile vendors; The Folklore, an e-commerce platform connecting brands from the African continent to leading retailers in the US; and Kloopify, a provider of supply chain sustainability analytics. Many of these investments have since secured up-round follow-up funding. expects to back 20-30 companies with checks ranging from $250,000 to $1 million from its $50 million inaugural fund. This groundbreaking initiative is backed by blue-chip Limited Partners (LPs) including Alphabet, First National Bank, Mark Cuban, First Close Partners, and Bank of America. In addition, the fund’s novel approach to deal sourcing leverages professional development groups, top-tier research universities, and HBCUs.

This fundraising round comes at a time when there’s mounting backlash against diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI), and diversity-focused investments. Last June, the Supreme Court ruled affirmative action unconstitutional and states like Oklahoma have voted to defund DEI efforts at public colleges. Black women-led Fearless Fund is currently battling it out in the courts against activist groups who claim grants for diverse founders are discriminatory. The prevailing climate has made resolute in its position of funding Black entrepreneurs.

“The pushback is real  We have seen funding to diverse founders and Black-led venture funds decline rapidly. We saw the level of funding return to 2019 totals. The industry is structured to do what it has historically done; 2021 and 2022 were in some ways an anomaly, and then you had a return to normalcy. You have funds like ours that came out of that time frame now positioned to show that this shouldn’t be a moment or just an initiative. These investment opportunities should be looked at,” David Motley, General Partner said about the firm’s importance in the contemporary venture capital scene.

Founded in 2020 by three serial entrepreneurs, the fund’s senior team possesses decades of collective experience in the industry. Kelauni Jasmyn is a former software developer, David Motley has led a corporate venture fund, co-founded a private venture fund and co-founded the African American Directors Forum (AADF) and Seán Sebastian previously founded Birchmere Ventures, a seed-stage investor Seán Sebastian previously founded Birchmere Ventures with $300m in assets under management.