Jumpstart Nova, a new fund that bills itself as the first venture fund investing exclusively in Black-founded health care companies, launched today. Based in Nashville with an outpost here in L.A., it aims to eliminate processes baked into the venture capital world that its founders believe make it harder for minority founders to access funding.
Here’s what else we're reading in the news:
- The DMV is rethinking how to regulate
Tesla’s public self-driving tests after videos surfaced that raised safety concerns.
- At-home psychedelic therapy startup Better U has a new advisory board of medical experts.
- Bambee, a company focused on using tech to make HR easier, launches a new automated payroll product.
- Viola, a cannabis brand led by former NBA player Al Harrington, raises $13 million.
- Snapchat adds emoji polls and bitmoji reactions to its direct message feature.
Not everybody reaped the benefits of health-tech’s heady rise in the past couple of years. Black founders were more likely than white or Asian founders to bootstrap their companies, and most were based in the South or the Midwest—far from funding hotbeds. Jumpstart Nova launched today with $55 million to address the issue.
L.A. neo-bank Aspiration, which offers an eco-friendly digital spin on consumer banking, has purchased Carbon Insights, a Denver-based startup that uses APIs to help financial institutions track carbon footprints.
Fan Controlled Football, a pro football league that lets spectators who own crypto call the plays in the game, has raised a $40 million Series A funding round as it looks to double its team count ahead of its upcoming second season.
The trademark application could indicate that Rivian is plotting a foray into the e-bike space. Such a move would diversify its offerings with a product that would be cheaper to produce and purchase than the company’s SUVs and pickup trucks.
According to one study, 73% of people abandon their New Year’s exercise resolutions before hitting their target. Masters, a new fitness app that launched today, is betting it has the formula to keep people committed to their workout regimens: training with pro athletes.
After five and a half years at Crosslink, Joe Guzel is launching Haven Ventures—a new fintech venture fund focused on seed and pre-seed startups, cutting checks of up to $1 million. He joins the L.A. Venture podcast to discuss what he sees in the future for finance startups in L.A.