Nubank launches a BRL 1 million fund for black-founded startups in Brazil

Startups can apply until September. In addition to the funding, the program will offer mentoring and networking

Brazilian fintech Nubank's team
Nubank announces investment fund for black-founded startups on YouTube. Image: Screenshot from Nubank's YouTube channel
Ler em português
  • Called Semente Preta (Black Seed, in Portuguese), the investment fund dedicated to startups founded or led by black entrepreneurs, will allocate up to BRL 1 million, in total, to selected startups;
  • Registrations are open until September;
  • The program seeks Brazilian startups from sectors such as financial services, data, people, digital marketing, games, software, apps and programming.

Brazilian fintech Nubank announced on Wednesday the launch of a BRL 1 million investment fund for startups founded or led by black entrepreneurs. Called Semente Preta (Black Seed, in Portuguese), the program seeks early-stage tech-based companies with a minimum viable product.

“We want to contribute by speeding up the consolidation of a more diverse tech environment that reflects the plurality that Brazil has. This is key for innovation and, therefore, for developing solutions that actually solve Brazilians’ main issues,” says Nubank’s founder David Vélez.

We know that black entrepreneurs and black female entrepreneurs face much more hurdles to attract investments and receive less support to build their business. We want to be part of changing that reality.


READ ALSO: Nubank announces that half of the management positions will be held by women in up to 5 years

With registration open until September, the program seeks startups from sectors such as financial services, data, people, digital marketing, games, software, apps, and programming, among others.

In addition to the funding, which in total may reach BRL 1 million, the selected startups will also receive mentoring with Nubank teams in the areas of people, engineering and finance and join meetings with external guests, as investors from the fintech’s network.

Registered startups will be assessed according to the level of technology and innovation in their product, creativity, strategy and financial performance, in addition to data and business intelligence. Factors such as the entrepreneur’s history, company positioning in the Brazilian startup ecosystem, geographical footprint and team diversity will also be considered.

“In order to have a more diverse technology environment, we need to question funding distribution patterns. By creating a fund focused on startups founded by black people, we are taking an important step in that direction,” says Monique Evelle, innovation consultant at Nubank. “More than offering a seed investment, we will help create conditions to enhance these businesses and transform the statistics.”

READ ALSO: BlackRocks and BTG partner up to offer a startup acceleration program

According to data from BlackRocks, a startup accelerator dedicated to promoting black entrepreneurs and executives, 32% of black-founded startups received some kind of funding during their journey of starting and consolidating the business. In startups founded by non-black people, it is a 41% share.

The study’s approach considers companies from the South and Southeast of Brazil – regions that concentrate around 80% of the country’s startups – which hit above BRL 50 thousand in revenues in 2019.

“We want to support companies that are also committed to accelerating the inclusion of underrepresented groups and spurring regional development,” Evelle adds.

Get the best insights about Latin America market in your inbox