Black Tech Firm Secures $17 Million Funding For Expansion, Striving To Achieve $1 Billion Revenue Goal
After starting a tech firm in his mother’s basement with just $6,000, Black entrepreneur Delali Dzirasa now envisions making it a $1 billion company by 2030.
Meet the founder and CEO of Fearless, a digital services and software development firm launched in 2009. Dzirasa has grown the company for 14 years by bootstrapping, a funding option that allows an owner to run a company using personal finance or revenue instead of outside investment. It can be a risky and stressful form of financing that Black owners often turn to after being unable to obtain mainstream funding.
Fast forward, Fearless has steadily grown over the years by providing services to the government, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, U.S.Small Business Administration, National Archives and Records Administration, U.S. Airforce, as well as landing contracts with organizations and companies like the NFL and Deloitte. Fearless is projecting a robust $100 million in revenue this year.
Now, Fearless is expanding into two business units. The tech division, Fearless Digital, will continue the firm’s founding mission to build software. It designs, engineers, and delivers digital solutions to solve problems and drive impact, helping tech to work better for people.
Meanwhile, the Fearless Guides division, dedicated to people and organizational empowerment, aims to cultivate an environment where organizations and their most valuable asset, their people, are provided with everything they require to succeed.
Baltimore-based-Fearless reports it has secured $17 million in financing from Truist Bank and Maryland Small Business Development Authority for working capital, making acquisitions, and expanding internationally. The company is working to raise another $10 million by late this year.
The bottom line is Fearless is evolving beyond technology, declaring the new structure of adding in people and organizational enablement services will make it a larger impact company.
As part of its objective to achieve $1 billion in revenue, the company aims to enhance the lives of 100 million individuals and establish a presence in 10 countries, expanding its geographic reach beyond the United States.
“BIPOC entrepreneurs face many barriers, and one of the biggest is lack of access to capital. Representation matters, so we hope our success in this initial round of financing can serve as inspiration to others,” Dzirasa stated.
In its endeavor to enhance lives, Fearless intends to broaden its offerings beyond technology and assist organizations in nurturing their people, refining their organizational operations, and honing their strategies. While most companies provide services from either the tech, the people, or the organizational side, Fearless is integrating all those tools.
Fearless plans to expand by acquiring companies aligning with its mission and growth trajectory and appointing presidents for each new division. Dzirasa will remain CEO, and John Foster, COO, has been named Chief Impact Officer.
Dzirasa is disrupting the tech industry, where reportedly under 10% of employees are Black, and less than 30% are female. Fearless reports a staff of more than 200 people, with 49% female and 38% BIPOC. It has been named to the Inc 5000 list and cited as one of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurs of the Year for the Mid-Atlantic Region.
Along with its growth, Fearless says it created an incubator five years ago to help other founders of color build and scale their businesses. It now has 28 portfolio companies.
Reflecting on his firm, Dzirasa remarked, “Fearless has never been a conventional kind of company. We’ve always been fearless in our belief that we could help build a better tomorrow. We can’t be timid as we address problems with our civic services or public health.”
He added, “Today’s problems require us to be fearless. And we plan to continue to be just that. We have established that we’re fearless to build better tech for our government and the people they serve.”