Investors include Arlan Hamilton, Mack Maine and Tiffany Haddish.
Black-owned digital platform designed to educate and empower innovators has received a major boost in venture capital funding. According to Afrotech, BeGreatTV has closed its seed investment round with support from an array of VC firms and celebrities.
The platform—which is slated to launch in April—was created to provide audio and video lessons from Black and brown thought leaders across different industries. Founders Cortney Woodruff and Cortez Bryant developed the company out of the need for representation. They wanted to cultivate a virtual space where creators could see themselves reflected. “It’s really about having something that is embedded with a sense of commonality and trust,” Woodruff said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “If a person is able to find someone that looks like them, that they admire, respect and can learn from, they will more likely embrace the information being presented to them and develop a sense of inspiration and desire to achieve.” BeGreatTV has garnered financial backing from investor Arlan Hamilton, music executive Mack Maine, comedian Tiffany Haddish and stylist Law Roach. Stand Together Ventures Lab has also invested in the company.
The investment milestone that BeGreatTV has hit is significant as racial disparities surrounding access to venture capital funding persists. According to the Harvard Business Review, Black entrepreneurs receive less than 1 percent of venture capital.
Several celebrities are stepping up to invest in Black-owned companies. Jay-Z, Rihanna and H.E.R. have invested in Denise Woodard’s health-conscious brand Partake Foods. Diddy and LL Cool J investedin the company Forethought; a platform designed to change the landscape of artificial intelligence. Comedian Kevin Hart invested in the company Ellis Island Tea.