The last few weeks have made it clear that systemic racism and inequality still exist today. Personally, I’ve been doing a lot of reflection. What can we be doing more as a society? What impact can I have as an individual? And what kind of positive impact can Braze have on the world?
Before Braze can make an impact on the world, we have to first start by evaluating what we can do to combat inequality in our own community–the tech industry. More than 80% of venture firms don’t have a single Black investor, and just 1% of venture-funded startup founders are Black. At our current inflection point, we need to take action and catalyze positive change in our communities.
Last week, one of our partners (Michael Katz, Cofounder and CEO of mParticle) reached out with an idea to donate our technology and tools to Black founders. As a tech company, this is one of the levers that we can pull to contribute to positive change. We liked the idea, and together we reached out to similar organizations to see if others would be willing to get involved.
Today, we are announcing the launch of a joint-initiative called Tech for Black Founders. Our mission is to create an ecosystem that provides resources and technology to empower Black-founded businesses and level the playing field for underserved founders. There are five companies involved in this initiative at launch:
- Amplitude: Amplitude is a product intelligence platform helping companies build better products.
- Branch: Branch provides the leading mobile linking platform, with solutions that unify user experience and measurement across different devices, platforms, and channels.
- Braze: Braze is a comprehensive customer engagement platform that powers relevant and memorable experiences between consumers and the brands they love. Context underpins every Braze interaction, helping brands foster human connection with consumers.
- mParticle: mParticle is a customer data platform (CDP) that helps engineers, product managers, and marketers improve data quality and simplify integrations across the entire marketing stack.
- Radar: Radar is developer-friendly, privacy-first location data infrastructure that unlocks the next generation of location-based product and service experiences.
Together, these companies are a best-in-class suite of SaaS products that help companies capture, analyze, and act on customer data to engage their customers and improve their experience. Our shared goal is to help Black-founded businesses accelerate growth and scale as rapidly and efficiently as possible.
All companies led by one or more Black founders that have bootstrapped or raised less than $30M in venture capital and with fewer than 150 employees are eligible for this program. More information about the initiative can be found here, and on each of the company sites linked above. Companies can apply to one or all five companies, and additional details regarding restrictions can be found on each company’s sign-up page..
For example, if a Black-led business wanted to use Braze, they would go here to submit an application. Applicants will be notified within 14 days on whether or not they meet the criteria. Braze would be free for a year, and as long as companies continue to meet the outlined criteria, that company could again apply for another year. There is a similar process across all five companies.
If you’re a Black-founded business, we’d love to work with you. And if you’re a tech company that would like to join this initiative, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.