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GREENWOOD Dist.–Venita Cooper is many things: a former teacher, community advocate, owner of Silhouette Sneakers & Art on Black Wall Street and creator of the app Arbit. Now, she’s one of few Black women in the country to raise $1 million for her startup.
Arbit is an AI-powered sneaker resale pricing startup based in Historic Greenwood District, home to the original Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Cooper’s creation is the first pricing algorithm to use an unbiased predictive valuation tool for sneakers.
Notably, Arbit utilizes data analytics to compare the prices of sneakers on various market places to bring the customer or the reseller the best possible bang for their buck.
“Someone who’s selling the product on these market places can price it however they want, according to how much they think they can get,” Cooper told The Black Wall Street Times. “As a buyer or even seller, because the data is very fragmented, it’s hard to know how to maximize your profit, how to sell and price, or as a buyer, to know the right price to purchase.
Arbit is the answer for sneakerheads on the go
Determined to create a transparent market place for buyers and sellers, Cooper raised $1 million in a pre-seed funding round from Lightship Capital, an organization devoted to empowering the rebirth of Black Wall Street. Atento Capital, a Tulsa-based VC company, poured in additional funding.
Nationally, less than one percent of venture capital funding going to Black women founders each year. With major financial backing behind Arbit, Cooper’s achievement echoes the brilliance of the Black Wall Street entrepreneurs who came before her.
“It’s super exciting. I love the community in Tulsa in general. I love the Black founder ecosystem. It’s really special,” Cooper said. “I tell people that if I were anywhere in the country, I would start my business in Tulsa.
Notably, Tyrance Billingsley II, a Greenwood son, has helped turned Tulsa into a vibrant ecosystem for tech startups especially. He’s working with Microsoft to develop thousands of tech jobs in Tulsa within the next few years.
Cooper’s launch of Arbit adds to an increasingly impressive tech resumé for the city of Tulsa.
Recently, Tulsa was designated an official “tech hub” as it seeks to become the Silicon Valley of the Midwest.
“We commit to doing this work with Greenwood, not for Greenwood,” Billingsley said in July, “to show the nation that Black Wall Street will be just as powerful of an economic leader for the next century as it was for the last.”
Meanwhile, despite the seven-figure funding for Arbit, Cooper is just getting started. She’s seeking $500K in additional funding to scale up and improve the application, which is beta form.
To join the waitlist for Arbit, visit https://www.getarbit.com/.