Black Dollar Magazine


For Black entrepreneurs, creatives, decision-makers and executives

Sign up for FREE BDM newsletter

InKind launches $250M fund for BIPOC-owned restaurants

In addition to the fund, inKind will create the Restaurant Operators Alliance.

InKind launches $250M fund for BIPOC-owned restaurants
A staff group shot taken at the Equity Eats Summit in Austin, Texas. INKIND PHOTO 

inKind, a restaurant fintech startup based in Austin, Texas, has announced a $250 million commitment to fund underrepresented and independent restaurant operators by 2025.

“We created this funding platform to advance systemic change,” inKind CEO Johann Moonesinghe said in a statement. “While inKind has a proven track record of supporting underserved restaurant operators, there is more we can do to create pathways to financial sustainability, especially around property ownership.”

In addition to the fund, inKind will create the Restaurant Operators Alliance — a program designed to provide training, marketing support, and mentorship, including access to technological resources, group food purchasing, and a repository of shared business learnings, Moonesinghe added.

The company announced the fund at its Equity Eats Summit last week. Several James Beard award winners and nominees were in attendance as well as business leaders and dignitaries in the food and beverage industry.

“Real progress requires diversity of thought and healthy discourse. By creating this forum and bringing different industry voices together, we were able to instigate breakthrough conversations about equity across the food value chain and gather valuable insights needed to address systemic issues and deploy capital responsibly,” event organizer and inKind chief marketing officer Joann Jen said in a statement.

The event also included panel discussions on issues affecting restaurant operators, including severe labour shortages, increased operating costs, surging food prices, evolving customer behaviours driven by COVID and inflation, and critical change opportunities in the hospitality industry.

“When we talk about equity in the restaurant industry, it is important to think about how that translates to the mission and heart of our businesses. For me, that is embodied in our commitment at Hav & Mar to operate with a close-to-zero-waste kitchen and working with and supporting Black and brown purveyors that are part of our community,” Fariyal Abdullahi, executive chef at Hav & Mar Restaurant, said in a statement.

“Not only supporting but providing funding to restaurants and operators that are elevating and giving back to their communities is vital to the success of ecosystems that actively work to champion sustainability and racial/gender equity,” she added.