May 20, 2021

What does a French kingmaker have to do with black music? Everything

Vincent Bollore, who is he? Before last week, I was clueless. But after a few Google searches and Wikipedia deep dives, I fashion myself a Bollore expert. 

Business school dropouts rally to save black restaurants 

Twin brothers and business school dropouts Marcos and Ellane Cabellos have had their fair share of setbacks in launching Black and Mobile, the nation’s first food delivery app for Black-owned restaurants. To start with, their timing was off.  

The app’s creation coincided with the 2020 George Floyd protests and COVID lockdowns. The year both injected interest in their app and devastated their affiliate restaurants. Somehow none of this deterred them, and as of now, they’ve added nearly a hundred restaurants across four cities on Black and Mobile. 

We’re rooting for these guys, as our other options for black foodies seem grim. It’s either large corporations like Uber Eats stirring the "Buy Black" wave with controversy or poorly strewn together listicles sharing a hundred black businesses that you and I have never heard of.

What does a French kingmaker have to do with black music? Everything

Vincent Bollore, who is he? Before last week, I was clueless. But after a few Google searches and Wikipedia deep dives, I fashion myself a Bollore expert. 

For the uninitiated, the Bollore family controls UMG, the largest music label in the world, and owns the copyrighted music of artists like Bob Marley, Kendrick Lamar, and our dearly beloved Lil Bow Wow. UMG notoriously enforces their copyright and licensing rights and thus owns much of black music as well. (Will we ever be free?)

Most people would look to Lucian Grange, the CEO of UMG, and assume he’s the Oz behind the curtain. But Grange, like many CEOs, is merely a well-paid and influential employee of the real power holders — the Bollore family. A French aristocratic family whose wealth goes back centuries and involves maritime freight and African trade. Delightful. 

In more recent news, the family’s patriarch, Vincent Bollore was indicted for fraudulent stock practices. When you peel back the curtain, you’ll see it’s men like this who control the history of black music and possibly its future. 


Deal Flow Goes Down for Women in Tech 

Crunchbase Daily reports that in 2020, female-led companies experienced one of the worst plummets in venture funding in the past ten years. Early data puts it at a 27% decrease in funding from 2019.

It’s too early to definitely know why, but experts speculate that the increased burden on female founders in domestic and parental duties, as well as internal KPIs, missed due to pressures from the coronavirus, have contributed to a tremendous backslide this year.  A worrying set of data to close out the year… 


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