Guava is a banking and networking platform for Black entrepreneurs, creators and small business owners. It announced that it had just closed a funding round of $2.4 million. The round was led by Heron Rock with participation from Ruthless for Good Fund, Precursor Ventures, Backstage Capital, along with notable angel investors Lexi Reese and Ed Zimmerman.
Founded by Kelly Ifill in 2021, Guava offers digital banking services and a community platform built to address the specific needs of Black entrepreneurs.
Supporting black business owners
“Black business owners are among the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the US. However, 70% of Black Americans don’t have a bank branch in their neighborhood. This is the inequity Guava is working to address,” said Kelly Ifill, Founder and CEO of Guava. “This fundraise supports that mission to increase access to capital for our communities.”
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Kelly and her team are passionate about serving these hard working, successful and yet often overlooked entrepreneurs by proving core banking services, networking opportunities, and increasing their access to capital and liquidity,” said Sydney Thomas, Founder and General Partner of Impressionism Capital. “Black women-led startups only receive less than 0.5% of venture capital funds. I am especially proud to be an early partner in Guava’s journey as an investor via Precursor Ventures.”
Tom Williams, sole GP of Heron Rock, added “There is no better business opportunity than to unify the millions of Black business owners in America to bank together, to learn from and support each other. After more than a year to find the right team to back, I know Guava can unlock this massive opportunity.”
Guava was recently selected to join Mastercard’s Start Path startup engagement program. It was the first-place winner of the NYC Recovery Challenge, a partnership with Google, Cornell Tech and Tech: NYC. The award supports companies that address underlying issues and provide equitable and sustainable growth through innovation.
Guava is a digital bank designed for and by Black small business owners. We are tackling the racial wealth gap head-on by facilitating the development, growth and resilience of our small businesses, the backbone of our communities. For more information, visit joinguava.com.