" class="no-js "lang="en-US"> Tech Nation announces 35 scaleups selected to join second Libra programme to support underrepresented UK tech founders - Fintech Finance
Saturday, November 26, 2022

Tech Nation announces 35 scaleups selected to join second Libra programme to support underrepresented UK tech founders

Tech Nation, the UK’s leading growth platform for tech scaleups, today announces the 35 tech startups with Black, South Asian, East Asian or Arab founders who have been accepted into Libra 2.0; the second iteration of the Libra programme for ethnically underrepresented tech founders in the UK.

Companies accepted into the newest Libra programme are working to transform multiple sectors; from finance, healthcare and clean technology to education and HR. This includes innovative companies who are creating technology to help growing diverse communities save money for the future (Bloom Money), working to end period pain for women (Hormonious Flo), and turning under-used nutritious plants from the forest in Central America into novel, carbon-negative superfoods (Tierra Foods).

This year, 40% of the new cohort companies are based outside of London – including companies from Scotland (such as Cyberodane), the North West (such as Dicey Tech), the East of England (such as Swapped) and the West Midlands (such as &facts). On top of this regional diversity, 63% of the companies have female founders, and collectively the companies operate in over 17 different countries (including the UK).

The aim of this year’s Libra programme

The six-month government-backed Libra programme 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%) went to multi-racial founding teams, and just 0.24% went to all-Black founding teams.

By supporting ethnically underrepresented tech leaders based in the UK (who are growing and scaling despite VC funding challenges), Libra aims to strengthen the UK’s position as one of the best places in the world to start and grow a business – for everyone.

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.

Libra 2.0 follows on from the success of the Libra 1.0 programme, which saw 2 Black-founded startup companies (edtech company Framework and HRtech company Flair) raise Seed funding within their first few months of joining the programme, and 6 companies (Boxx, Compare Ethics, Eccobell, Framework, Ruka and Owni) awarded the Black Fund Grant by Google for Startups.

Tech Nation is delighted to be partnering with Cooley once again to deliver this year’s Libra 2.0 programme.

Nina Mohanty, CEO & Co-founder of 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.”

Sohaib Ahmed, Founder of &facts, said: “This is a hugely important programme that is addressing the lack of diversity within the startup ecosystem. It’ll provide startups with much-needed visibility, connections and support. It’s such an honour to have been selected as part of this program, and I look forward to learning from some of the best underrepresented founders.”

Shardai Cosgrove, Co-founder & CEO of Fintellity, 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.”

Sarah Wernér, Co-founder & CEO of Husmus, said: “We are so proud to be joining Libra 2.0 and becoming part of the Tech Nation family. The Husmus team is committed to financial inclusion in renting and the vote of confidence means a lot. We can’t wait to get started with learning and sharing with the rest of the community.”

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