On Friday, TechCrunch reported the latest Crunchbase venture capital data, and the news isn’t very good from a diversity point of view: Black founders raised a paltry $187 million out of the $150.9 billion in venture capital allocated in Q3 this year. To put that into perspective, that’s only 0.12% of the total investment made in the quarter.
The story launched a conversation on Twitter about the current state of venture funds for Black founders. It unearthed pain and heartbreak, but it also brought to light the resilience of founders and investors who still have their hearts set on change. It also surfaced the reality that the powers that be — most, if not all, of the rich, white men, LPs and institutions with outsized power — are sticking to their old habits instead of doing much to truly bring about change in how venture capital is invested.
One way to hold folks accountable is to keep openly talking about inequities. This is one reason why TechCrunch has decided to create a forum for Black founders to — anonymously or not — submit their open, honest experiences of what it is like to fundraise for their startups today.
We want to hear what investors still say to you behind closed doors. We want to know how often you’ve had to codeswitch, and what the anxiety levels are still like when walking into certain rooms. We want to know the good parts, like who are the allies, but also the bad parts, like who are the bullies.
We acknowledge that this is not a new conversation, and there is much fatigue in constantly having the same conversations. But, it’s important to hold on, as there is much work to be done.
The questions are below (click the form and scroll). Answer what you wish, as you wish; you can name names, or not. Please try to answer with a paragraph or 2-3 sentences and provide explicit examples where you can. We will publish many of the responses by the end of this year. Thank you for your help!