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Black women–led startups in the US more than doubled in a year

The 2018 ProjectDiane report, authored by Digitalundivided, found that the number of black women-led startups more than doubled in a year — between 2016 and 2017 — yet the amount of money raised in VC funding that these startups have raised represents just .0006% of the total technology venture funding raised since 2009.

A large portion of the $289 million in venture or angel funding raised by black women-led startups was raised in 2017. In fact, these startups raised nearly $250 million in VC funding in 2017, up from under $50 million in 2016, according to PitchBook.

In 2017, there were 227 startups, up from 88 in 2016 — the first year of ProjectDiane.

“Post-ProjectDiane 2016, there was an increase of stories about women of color in the space,” founder of Digitalundivided, Kathryn Finney, told Mic in an interview. “So role-modeling started to happen. People started to see people like them creating startups. And how do you know you can do something if you’ve never seen anybody do it?”

In 2015, 12 black women-led startups raised over $1 million in funding, this number increased to 34 in 2017.

But for black women who haven’t raised over $1 million in funding, the average amount of funding received is $42,000.

According to a map provided by ProjectDiane many states had no recorded black women founders in 2017: this list includes Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Alabama, Arkansas, Utah, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, West Virginia, and Kentucky.

Earlier this year, VC firm Backstage Capital launched a $36 million fund with the sole purpose to invest in black female founders.

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