Black Female Tech Entrepreneur Raises $7 Million for Renewable Energy Startup

By Sameer Rao Sep 22, 2016

Jessica O. Matthews became only the 13th Black female founder of a tech company to raise more than $1 million in outside investment when her company closed a $7 million deal earlier this week.

TechCrunch reported Tuesday (September 20) that Matthews’ renewable energy-focused company Uncharted Play "just closed a $7 million Series A round led by the NIC Fund with participation from Kapor Capital, Magic Johnson Enterprises, BBG Ventures and Lingo Ventures." The company plans to use the money to expand its team and finance future partnerships. 

The funding is a significant victory in an industry where Black women do not typically wield power. A 2015 report from digitalundivided found that only 0.2 percent of venture capital deals made between 2012 and 2014 involved Black women.

Uncharted Play’s main products are a soccer ball that doubles as a power generator and a jump rope that also acts as a light. Both products, powered by technology that converts motion into energy, embody the company’s mission to use play and technology in the service of advancing renewable energy and clean power awareness.