Entrepreneurs Want To Turn London’s Brixton Into The Next ‘Black’ Silicon Valley
Photo Credit: Black Seed London

Photo Credit: Black Seed London

Entrepreneurs Want To Turn London’s Brixton Into The Next ‘Black’ Silicon Valley

black owned business , London , United Kingdom , news
Parker Diakite
Parker Diakite Sep 17, 2021

Two entrepreneurs in London are hoping to make Brixton the next “Black Silicon Valley.”

Karl Lokko and Cyril Lutterodt want to help Black-led startups access funding with what they call the first venture group “led by Black founders for Black founders” in Europe, known as Black Seed.

“As a Black founder, you’re more likely to get skin cancer than funding,” Lokko tells The Financial Times in an interview.

But both men want to change that, and they’re hoping to fill the gap between the tech industry and the UK’s Black community as it relates to funding. The coolest part about the venture is that they’re doing this in London’s most ethnic neighborhood: Brixton.

“We want Brixton to be the next Black Silicon Valley,” Lutterodt adds.  “Black Seed is a community. We want to find the next Steve Jobs. The next Black Jeff Bezos, the next Black Bill Gates, the next Black Larry Page. Black rebel ideas.”

Through Black Seed, they are hoping to raise more than $13m to take invest in promising, Black-led start-ups.  Within the next three years, they envision themselves having a portfolio of seed funding in 30 Black-led starts up across Europe.  The Black Seed co-founders also plan to offer the portfolio companies office space in Brixton as well.

So far, they have reportedly attracted some prominent investors, such as Saul Klein and property chief Ric Lewis. Most recently, Black Seed even got a shoutout from Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group. The British billionaire is notably known for launching the Virgin Records music label and Virgin Atlantic Airlines.

Branson said on LinkedIn that it’s, “wonderful to hear about Black Seed’s vision for a tech ecosystem that is created by Black founders, for Black founders.”

A recent report by Extend Ventures, a nonprofit in the U.K. says that minority groups in the country received nearly 2% of capital invested at all stages between 2009 and 2019. That number fell to less than 1% for Black founders.

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