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Tell Your Story – Soledad O’Brien | BMe UNLIMITED

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Will Smith and Kevin Durant are reportedly backing a brand-new Andreeseen Horowitz fund aimed at black celebrities

Urban Marketing Group Staff

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  • Andreessen Horowitz is launching a new $15 million venture fund backed by black celebrities, according to the Wall Street Journal.
  • Will Smith, Kevin Durant, and Sundial Brands CEO Richelieu Dennis have reportedly already signed on as limited partners to the fund.
  • Andreeseen Horowitz will reportedly donate investment returns toward nonprofits that aim to spur the black community’s engagement in tech.

Silicon Valley venture firm Andreessen Horowitz has launched a new fund that will partner exclusively with black celebrities, athletes, and media figures, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Already, the firm has secured high-profile backing from actor Will Smith, NBA star Kevin Durant, and the founder of beauty line Sundial Richelieu Dennis, the Journal reports.

The $15 million fund, which will reportedly operate alongside Andreessen Horowitz’s $1.5 billion fund, won’t function like a traditional venture fund; instead, investment returns will go towards nonprofits that aim to spur the black community’s engagement in tech.

Read more HERE

 

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Business News

45 GREAT MOMENTS IN BLACK BUSINESS – NO. 5: BET SELLS FOR $3 BILLION CREATING AMERICA’S FIRST BLACK BILLIONAIRE

Urban Marketing Group Staff

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BLACK ENTERPRISE celebrates the 45th anniversary of its roster of the nation’s most successful black businesses—The BE 100s. To commemorate the significance of this collective’s widespread impact on black business and economic development as well as American industry over four decades, we have presented 45 milestone moments. As part of this tribute, we continue our yearlong countdown.  

2000: Robert Johnson, sells BET for $3 billion to media giant Viacom, making him the nation’s first black billionaire.

In clinching a deal that made him America’s first black billionaire, entrepreneur Robert Johnson led the sale of the nation’s largest black-owned cable channel to media conglomerate Viacom Inc. The transaction came with Viacom’s purchase of BET Holdings II Inc., the owner of Black Entertainment Television. The deal was announced in 2000 and closed a year later, valued at around $3 billion.

The pact made BET Founder Robert Johnson the nation’s richest black man and a household name. An astute executive, entrepreneur, and wealth builder, Bob Johnson made business history in 1991 by taking BET public. It became the first company ever traded on the New York Stock Exchange with majority ownership controlled by African Americans.

Not pleased with BET’s stock market performance, Johnson teamed with Liberty Media Group in 1998 to buy private ownership of the company and reorganized it as BET Holdings II Inc. When Viacom acquired BET Holdings II, it resulted into $2.4 billion in Viacom stock options for Johnson, who accepted a five-year contract with Viacom to continue leading BET. A former cable-industry lobbyist, Johnson and his wife at the time, Sheila, founded BET in 1980, with $500,000 in funding and a $15,000 bank loan.

Read more @ Black Enterprise

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Entrepreneurship

Kobe Bryant’s $6M investment in sports drink now worth $200M

Urban Marketing Group Staff

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An investment made by Kobe Bryant has yielded more than 30 times its money in fewer than four-and-a-half years.

On Tuesday, Coca-Cola announced it purchased a minority stake in sports drink BodyArmor.

Bryant made his first investment in the brand, for roughly 10 percent of the company, in March 2014, putting in a total of roughly $6 million over time. Based on the valuation of the Coca-Cola deal, his stake is now worth approximately $200 million, sources told ESPN.

Bryant is now the fourth largest investor in the brand, marketed as a healthier competitor to Gatorade, behind the brand’s co-founder Mike Repole, Coca-Cola and Keurig Dr Pepper. When he invested in BodyArmor, the brand had just come off a year of $10 million in sales. BodyArmor is projected to top $400 million in sales in 2018.

Read more @ ESPN

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