Google has unveiled the full list of recipients of awards from the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund, which aims to give promising Black Founders around the U.S. cash awards to further their endeavors.
Among those selected is the Detroit-based virtual reality startup Raxplay, co-founded by Isaac Lymon and Carlos Shields Davis. The company is built on the idea of helping artists perform live in a virtual reality environment, with fans buying tickets and merch while interacting with fellow fans in unique real-time settings.
"I'm really thankful for the Google Black Founders Fund and their commitment to a more diverse and inclusive ecosystem,” Lymon said in a statement to Complex. “Our team is beyond excited that Google is willing to support us and sees the challenge we are working to address in the music industry and the opportunity our solution provides. At Raxplay, we are executing our go-to-market with paid pilots to bring live, immersive, and engaging concerts to virtual reality. This funding will go a long way to help us meet hardware needs and hit our next milestones."
The Black Founders Fund marks a $5 million initiative that provides cash awards of up to $100,000 to Black-led startups in the U.S. Notably, the awards are non-dilutive, which means that selected founders are not required to forfeit any ownership of their company as part of the funding agreement. All told, Google announced on Tuesday a total of 76 founders who have been selected to receive benefits.
Other startups confirmed as awards recipients include 4Degrees, MindRight Health, Loanwell, MedHaul, Shared Harvest Fund, Pharaoh’s Conclave, Qoins, Varuna Tech Inc, Possip, Courtroom 5, Portrait Coffee, Juno Medical, SecondKeys, Staat, Deepr, Knac, Upskill VR, Freeman Capital, TruGenomix, Film Connx, Cyber Pop-Up, Infiltron Software Suite, ZeroStorefront, Clubba by Usit, Vibe Ride, ShearShare Inc, and more. For a full list, click here.
"We are committed to helping Black founders who have been deeply impacted by COVID-19 and who are disproportionately locked out of access to the funding they need to succeed," Jewel Burks Solomon, Head of Google for Startups U.S., said in a statement. "By combining cash awards with Google for Startups, mentorship and programming, we hope to help create a more level playing field for these founders, who are building amazing companies and making an impact on their communities."