Raising venture capital funding as a Black woman comes with its fair share of challenges. Between 2018 and 2019, only 0.27% of venture capital investment went to Black women, which is often contributed by negative bias and a lack of access to networks, creating significant barriers to funding.
So when Black women win, it’s a win for us all. Today, digital health start-up HUED announces that the company has raised $1.6 million in seed funding led by Female Founders Fund. Other round participants include, but are not limited to, Serena Ventures, Osage Venture Partners, Northwestern Mutual, Black Founders Matter, Gingerbread Capital and angel investor and health industry leader, Halle Tecco.
“Embarking on such a bold mission to reimagine the healthcare system for communities of color is no easy feat,” said Kimberly Wilson, Founder and CEO of HUED. “It’s incredible to have received the support of incredible investors, such as Female Founders Fund, to further our mission to empower and train healthcare workers on anti-racist practices, implicit bias, and providing culturally senstive care for Black and Latinx populations.”
Founded in 2018 by Kimberly Wilson, HUED is a digital health startup on a mission to make culturally competent healthcare accessible for Black and Latinx communities. Today, HUED’s database features over 600 healthcare providers tailored specifically towards communities of color, and has developed a digital training curriculum for healthcare systems and stakeholders to dismantle structural and policy barriers that prevent these populations from accessing high quality and culturally competent healthcare.
“We are thrilled to back Kimberly and her vision for HUED in making healthcare more equitable for millions of Black and Latinx patients,” says Anu Duggal, Founding Partner of Female Founders Fund. “She has built exciting traction with a strong team and we believe the HUED model will have a massive impact on healthcare outcomes in this country.” The fund, which invests solely in female-founded companies, announced just last month that it has just closed on its third round of funding for $57 million, bringing its total amount of assets under management to more than $95 million.
For Serena Williams and her venture fund, Serena Ventures, this investment seems like perfect alignment. The tennis superstar has previously spoken out about her belief that many doctors don’t take the concerns of Black women seriously. Through her contributions to this funding round, it will enable HUED to scale its technology platform, to improve engagement, education, and health outcomes among underserved and vulnerable populations.
“The way health care is being delivered to Black and Latinx populations in the country needs to change,” says Wilson. “HUED boldly stands to tackle historical racism that has plagued the healthcare system long before the COVID-19 pandemic, delivering scalable and much-needed equitable solutions for underserved populations.”