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Black Tech Nation Ventures Announces Final Close Of $50m Inaugural Fund To Lower The Barriers To Venture Capital

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• Pittsburgh-based firm closes $50 million fund to invest in pre-seed and seed companies.
• Focuses on Black and diverse-led technology startups, with over 10 investments already made in companies including EMTECH, Goodfynd, The Folklore, and Kloopify.
• Senior team has many decades of collective experience in the industry, and the fund is backed by iconic LPs including Alphabet, Bank of America, and Mark Cuban.

PITTSBURGH, February 28, 2024-- Black Tech Nation Ventures (referred to as "BTN.vc" ), a Pittsburgh-based venture firm, today announced the close of a $50 million inaugural fund. BTN.vc invests in software startups led by founders from diverse backgrounds that have historically been overlooked by venture funding. The fund believes these Black, Latinx, female, indigenous and LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs have the potential to generate outsized returns within the venture industry as a whole.

"We set up BTN.vc to equip and train a new generation of more diverse entrepreneurs and investors," said David Motley, one of three general partners. "We are committed to providing intellectual as well as financial capital to help our founders navigate growing a successful company and opening up opportunities for future venture capitalists who are Black or diverse to participate in the industry."

BTN.vc is investing in high-potential founders at the seed and pre-seed stage who are building companies with technology that is driving change and unlocking outsized value, in sectors including fintech, edtech, health tech, climate tech, and AI and machine learning.

The firm has already invested in 10 companies in cities including Atlanta, Boston, District of Columbia, Indianapolis, New York, and Pittsburgh. These include; EMTECH, a fintech infrastructure company; Goodfynd, an enterprise solutions provider for food truckers and mobile vendors; The Folklore, an e-commerce platform connecting brands from the African continent to premium retailers in the US; and Kloopify, provider of supply chain sustainability analytics. Multiple investments have already secured up-round follow on funding.

BTN.vc expects to back 20-30 companies from its inaugural fund, typically seeking entry at the pre-seed and seed stages with checks in the $250,000 to $1M range. The firm has led, co-led and or helped complete funding rounds. The team has built a unique deal funnel to match its investment focus, which includes diverse professional development groups, top tier research universities, and historically Black colleges and universities.

BTN.vc was co-founded in 2020 by three serial entrepreneurs united by a commitment to building and enabling a diverse technology ecosystem.

• Kelauni Jasmyn is a former software developer and the founder and CEO of Black Tech Nation, which is building community and resources to bridge the gap between the Black community and the tech community in Pittsburgh and across the US.
• David Motley brings extensive experience with technology and innovation driven companies having led a corporate venture fund and co-founded a prior private venture fund. He also co-founded the African American Directors Forum (AADF), which strives to increase representation of African American executives at the public company board level.
• Seán Sebastian previously founded Birchmere Ventures, a $300m AUM seed-stage investor that led investments in almost 100 portfolio companies attracting more than $4bn in follow-on capital and achieving over $18bn in market value. Included in that portfolio were 25 diverse-led startups and some of the firm's strongest performers.

BTN.vc is backed by a range of blue chip LPs including Alphabet, First National Bank (FNB Corp), Mark Cuban, First Close Partners, and Bank of America.

Jeremiah Gordon, General Counsel at CapitalG who co-led Alphabet's investment in BTN.vc as part of its $100 million investment in initiative into black-led capital firms, startups and organizations supporting black entrepreneurs added: "By focusing on founders from underrepresented groups and geographies, BTN.vc is tapping into a rich vein of entrepreneurship largely unexplored by traditional venture groups."

For more information, please visit https://btn.vc/.

Contact: Abby Vare / Olachi Ihekwaba, btnventures@milltownpartners.com, +1 (631) 408-0791

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