Tech Nation picks 35 scaleups to join the six-month government-backed Libra programme supporting ethically underrepresented UK tech founders and tackling racial inequality in the country.
The UK platform for tech scaleups has revealed the startups with Black, South Asian, East Asian or Arab founders who have been accepted into Libra 2.0.
Those companies joining Libra collectively employ more than 170 people and have raised over £10million in venture capital investment. All selected companies are working to transform multiple sectors; from finance, healthcare and clean technology to education and HR.
Forty per cent of the new cohort are companies based outside of London, 63 per cent have female founders, and collectively the companies operate in over 17 different countries (including the UK).
Libra was created to tackle the racial diversity challenges that exist in UK tech. Last year, Extend Ventures reported that between 2009 and 2019, three quarters of VC investment went to all-white founding teams, while under a quarter (23 per cent) went to multi-racial founding teams. Just 0.24 per cent went to all-Black founding teams.
Libra aims to strengthen the UK’s position as one of the best places in the world to start and grow a business by supporting ethnically underrepresented tech leaders based in the UK.
While the inaugural Libra programme focussed on improving the Black founder experience, Libra 2.0 will focus on companies with at least one ethnic minority founder with lived experience of little or no access to capital, networking and commercial opportunities, to help them access equal opportunities and accelerate their scaling journey.
Abi Mohamed, Libra programme lead at Tech Nation, said: “After the success of the inaugural Libra programme last year, I’m delighted to welcome a new cohort of inspiring companies to the table. These companies are working across a wide range of sectors – from finance and ecommerce to education and healthcare – but what they have in common is enormous potential and drive, and the right to be given equal opportunities to grow and scale.
“I can’t wait to help another pool of inspiring underrepresented founders break through the glass ceiling and achieve the success they deserve.”
Meanwhile, Olivia Sibony, CEO and Co-founder of SeedTribe and Libra 2.0 judge, commented: “In a world of unprecedented change, we can no longer operate with the ways of the old world. Never has diversity been so important for our society, and it was an honour and inspiration to be the judge for such fantastic entrepreneurs leading such innovative, game-changing businesses.”
The companies selected to join Libra 2.0 are &facts, Alice Camera, Boltzbit, Bendi, Bloom Money, COYOSY, Cyberodane, Data Duopoly, Dicey Tech, Fintellity, FoodLama, FullSpektrum, FutureMatch, Heyr, Hormonious Flo, Husmus, Hypha, Kodobe, Kweevo, LMF Network, CargoScanner, Manageable, Melior AI, Monadd, MySocialPulse, Ocushield, Resony, Sitigrid, Softlink.ai, Swapped, Tierra Foods, Uome, Veriom, WealthOS and ZeroCode Cloud.
Nina Mohanty, CEO & Co-founder of fintech Bloom Money, said: “We are so excited to join a cohort of brilliant, innovative founders on the Libra programme. One of the joys of Bloom Money is that we are serving a diverse group of people who are typically overlooked and underserved. It feels particularly heartwarming to now join a group of equally diverse (and historically overlooked) founders solving challenging, interesting problems.”
Shardai Cosgrove, co-founder & CEO of fintech Fintellity, which offers ethical and intelligent payment solutions, said: “Fintellity is extremely excited to be part of Tech Nation’s Libra 2.0 cohort because it’s an opportunity to learn from mentors and networks, and to share experiences with other founders and develop more strategic partnerships.”