2021 is officially done, and honestly don’t know where the time has gone. Anyways here is my end-of-the-year public tweets retrospective!
Not going to lie, my tweeting game has dramatically lowered from 2020, and I think there are two main reasons for it:
- I’m not angry anymore. When I started my Twitter account around 2017, I was fueled by anger and disappointment I had for the tech sector — early followers will remember me @ or highlighting any injustice I saw on my TL & my dramatic exit from my tech job and falling into the startup world. I have changed and grown since then. I’m calmer and at peace now. I can’t explain why as I haven’t unpacked and understood it myself yet.
- I live in the moment and forget to tweet, not sorry — it’s not like I’m not doing anything and sleeping in bed. I am working, but I’m not building publicly. Also, I love having fun, but it is all living in my brain rent-free because I don’t take pictures or tweet live.
Anyways, here is my tweets wrap-up. This year, I will include any activities I was involved in + timeline of the amazing Black founder closing their rounds in the UK because it’s been a fantastic year!
Note: I will only include those I tweeted or RTd on my TL for Black Founders closing their rounds parts. I know other incredible UK Black founders also closed their rounds in 2021. I’m not discrediting their rounds, this is not a list, or favouritism, I’m just reviewing my tweets in peace. Great list of 16 Black female founders in the UK who have raised funding can be found here.
Kicking off the year, we launched our community syndicate group at Community Growth Venture (CGV). It is always good to check in with the community to ensure it is fit-for-purpose with any new product or service, so we launched a survey. Surveys are super important, but we knew participation would be low, so adding an incentive helped!
#1 Black Founder(s) Closing Their Round: Cybersecurity startup CybSafe, a “behavioural security” platform, has raised $7.9 million in a Series A funding round.
Sidebar: Been lucky enough to watch CybSafe’s journey early on as they were a Tech Nation Cyber 1.0 cohort member, the first programme I was involved in when I started working at Tech Nation.
Over at CGV, we were about to invest in our third company Datacy, but we faced a new angel investment dilemma. The round included some big size tickets from some big-named institutional funds, meaning we had to join in with a 100K ticket minimum or be pushed out of the round.
Long story short, we joined in another syndicate, and the 100k ticket was confirmed with all parties involved. Then, a last-minute drop out happened, and we faced the possibility of missing the round unless we tapped into our network and magically made 40K appear in less than 72hrs. You can read the whole stress story (real-time) post below.
Spoiler: We did manage to be part of the round.
Featured on Lifetise Money & Me podcast — spoke about how I started to angel invest.
Join the TLA Black Women in Tech panel, shared my journey & my perspective of the UK venture landscape for underrepresented founders.
It’s April, started to go outside and socialise more. Also, CGV joins the UK Business Angels community.
The sun is out, and I finally launched the call out for the new Tech Nation Libra Growth Programme applications. The programme took over seven months to develop. Before launching it, I wanted to ensure the programme was solving a problem and not a vanity metric. I’m glad I did extensive user research and made it as user-centric as possible. You can read more information about the programme via my Everything you need to know about Libra 1.0 blog.
Join the Backed VC Live Office Hours
It is also sad to see an end of an era, with Google Startups closing their doors forever. Honestly don’t think I would be where I am without discovering this place.
#2 Black Founder Closing Their Round: Afro and Curly haircare company Afrocenchix secure $1.2M.
Sidebar: So excited, as Afrocenchix was CGV’s 1st ever investment, I love attending their AGMs and seeing the company grow from strength to strength.
No tweets. It was a super busy month — I was going through all the Libra applications. Looking at my camera roll, I was living my best life.
#3 Black Founder(s) Closing Their Round: Car insurance provider Marshmallow close a massive $83M round, and the company joins the UK unicorn list.
Catching flights to joining the Backed VC scouts in Tuscany for a community retreat. Honestly, it was incredible.
Virtual talk at Tech London Advocates: Young Entrepreneurs on receiving funding for your business.
Also, announced the 30 companies joining the Tech Nation Libra 1.0 cohort.
Quick overview of the cohort
We are already in the last quarter of the year, and as you can tell, I’m not tweeting much anymore. Kicking it off, a quick flashback to the Libra Launch Event.
#4 Black Founder(s) Closing Their Round: AudioMob, allows brands to connect with the massive mobile gaming audience using in-game audio ads. Raised $14M. Fun fact three of the four investors were American.
#5 Black Founder(s) Closing Their Round: Oja, an online supermarket that delivers cultural, ethnic & specialist groceries and products straight to your door. They raised $3.4M.
#6 Black Founder Closing Their Round: Framework, on-demand
business school raised $2M.
My birthday month! And we just announced the Tech Nation <> Cooley partnership. Cooley’s partnership will offer the 30 cohort companies on the programme — most of which are seed, pre-seed or yet to raise their first funding rounds — practical guidance on securing institutional investment.
#6 Black Founder Closing Their Round: Flair Impact, building an anti-racist culture, through our anonymous survey, performance tracking & data-driven solutions. They raised: $1.8M.
2021 was a better year for sustaining more authentic relationships. I closed a lot of personal chapters & friendships. It was a great year in my work, and I’m happy with everything I have achieved so far. I had a lot of time to think about what was important to me in life, and I have decided I have to do a lot of inner work to feel fulfilled and happy.
I’m not going to include my focus for 2022 this time around because I haven’t finished my vision board yet. Taking my time as there is no real rush. My mantra this year will be:
“Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude towards us.” ~ Earl Nightingale
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