Did you know that rapper Killer Mike is not just a phenomenal emcee and political activist, but an outstanding businessman making major moves in banking and financing?
The Georgia recording artist, whose real name is Michael Render, founded a company called Greenwood with former Atlanta mayor, Andrew Young, in 2020 with the goal to empower Black and Brown people, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In 2022, the company, currently valued at $325 million, acquired two Black-owned companies: the Atlanta-based networking hub and workspace The Gathering Spot, and Valence, an online career development platform.
Now, after buying those businesses, it has purchased Kinly, a fintech firm with a mission to serve Black customers also.
Before joining forces, Greenwood and Kinly were rivals.
“One of the things that I always think about is the old African proverb, you know: ‘You want to go fast, go alone, you want to go far, you know, go together,’” U.S. For Donald Hawkins, CEO and founder of Missouri-based Kinly said.
Like Greenwood, Kinly started in 2020 also. The brands launched within a month of each other.
The financial details of the acquisition have not been shared, but Hawkins will come into the company as a vice president.
“We believe that it takes a mosaic of individuals, of corporations — VCs included — to close a generational wealth gap that existed in this country for centuries,” said Ryan Glover, Greenwood’s CEO. Glover is also one of the company’s founders.
With Killer Mike at the helm, Greenwood was able to secure a $45 million funding round led by Black-founded investment firm Pendulum. This money is helping to shape the mission to effectively serve and empower its approximately 150,000 banking customers.