Two North Texas startups can now count one of the largest tech firms in the country—Google—as their newest backer.
The Alphabet-owned company has awarded Dallas companies Deposits.com and DUKE.AI $100,000 each in new funding via its Google for Startups Black Founders Fund. The fund was created with the goal of closing the racial disparity of venture capital funding that goes towards diverse founders.
“Across the U.S., there are amazing Black startup founders who are building great companies yet are locked out of access to the funding that’s critical to their success,” Google wrote in a blog post.
Meet Deposits.com and DUKE.AI
Along with the funding, all 50 startups selected by the fund will receive Google Cloud credits and hands-on support from Google.
Deposits.com was co-founded in 2019 by CEO Joseph Akintolayo and COO Daniel Paramo with the goal of helping financial organizations provide more digital tools to their community. Fresh off of a $5 million seed funding round it raised last month that was led by ATX Venture Partners, the startup offers plug-and-play banking features for community banks, credit unions, and other financial brands. It does this via what it calls “kits”—thematic financial experiences built around common financial services customers are looking for, like money management, mobile payments, business banking, and payroll.
Also formed in 2019, DUKE.AI is an automated bookkeeping and accounting software platform designed for the trucking industry. Its technology aids document processing workflows for things like office payment processing and accounting. Led by founder Marcus Cooksey, the company landed early funding through Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith’s Minority Entrepreneurship Institute Capital Fund.
In a LinkedIn post, Cooksey said the company has already “seen tremendous benefit from Google’s support team.”
Google for Startups Black Founders Fund has backed other North Texans
The Google for Startups Black Founders Fund is part of a $175 million investment commitment by Google to back the Black business community in the wake of protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. This year, only 1.2% of venture capital dollars have gone to startups with at least one Black founder, according to Crunchbase.
Deposits.com and DUKE.AI join a number of other North Texas startups who’ve landed funding from the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund. In the first batch of startups it funded were DEI platform Kanarys, fintech Zirtue, concierge health care company CourMed, and barbershop space rental platform ShearShare, which has since relocated to Buffalo, N.Y. Those companies were joined last September by Fêtefully, Safer Management, XR Sports Group and CustomerX.i.
“We know that hands-on support and connections are necessary elements to any founder’s success,” Google wrote when it announced funding companies in 2021. “With these funds, we’re also committing to growing a relationship that brings these founders the best of Google.”
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