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London Tech Week

Black founders who got fired from Elon Musk’s Twitter unveil an alternative, Spill

Photo Credit: Spill

Former Twitter employees who were laid off following Musk’s takeover of the microblogging platform have launched Spill, which targets “culture drivers” and provides a haven for Black Twitter creators.

The startup intends to hire candidates from a variety of communities, with a focus on large language models. Currently, Spill is seeking $1.3M in seed pre-seed funding, which it intends to use to hire engineers, designers, and community managers.

According to Alphonzo “Phonz” Terrell and DeVaris Brown, Spill will be “a real-time conversational platform that puts culture first.”

Terrell was the global head of social and editorial for Twitter for three years up until last month, when Elon Musk’s takeover led to thousands of employees being let go. Brown spent more than a year working on machine learning as a product manager lead at Twitter before switching to start the Series A startup Meroxa, a real-time data service, in 2020.

“While Spill is for everyone, we are catering to culture drivers who frequently set new trends yet routinely get overlooked and under compensated,” Terrell tweeted in his announcement of the app. “Yes, we mean Black creators, Queer creators, and a variety of influential voices outside the U.S.”

Bonded over culture!

As Black employees at Twitter, the founders became close and wanted to establish a platform to celebrate the cultural contributions and noteworthy content that Black users frequently contributed to the app.

The “spill the tea”-themed Spill app will use blockchain to reward users for popular posts and feature “tea parties” where users can meet up virtually or in person to connect.

Hate speech and slurs against Black users have increased dramatically since Elon Musk paid $44B to acquire Twitter in October, and well-known Black Twitter users have turned to humour to lament the loss of their online community.

Terrell tweeted that Spill had 20,000 reservations for handles within 12 hours of the app’s announcement.

Terrell tweeted, “Thank you for love, the comments, the scepticism, and the many offers of support – you have no idea how much this means.”

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