RALEIGH — Google for Startups announced Thursday the recipients of their “Founder Funds,” including Raleigh-based MuukLabs.

Started in 2019 by co-founders Ivan Barajas Vargas and Renan Ugalde, MuukLabs is an AI-powered solution for QA (Quality Assurance) testing. The company offers testing tools, frameworks, and their own QA experts to streamline and return 6x faster results vs. in-house QA, according to their website.

The Founder Funds, which include the Black Founders Fund and Latino Founders Fund, provide $150,000 in non-equity, cash investments to minority-led startups. The award provides other resources as well, including up to $100,000 in Google Cloud credits, leadership training, mental health coaching, and custom mentorship from Google.

Google for Startups has invested $650,000 across 7 North Carolina startups since 2020.

“In 2020, we launched our first Google for Startups Black Founders Fund to help Black tech entrepreneurs overcome the disproportionate hurdles they face when raising capital,” said Lisa Gevelber, VP of Google for Startups  “Over the past three years, we’ve significantly expanded the scope of our work, expanding our Black Founders Fund to Europe, Africa and Brazil, and to Latino founders in the US. We’ve now provided $45M in cash awards and to 547 promising entrepreneurs through our Black and Latino Founders Funds. We are excited to welcome a new group of diverse founders who are using technology to solve some of society’s biggest problems.”

How Raleigh startup MuukLabs is scaling its automation platform using AI


MuukLabs History

Vargas, who moved to the area from Mexico back in 2011, worked in software engineering and QA for EMC (now Dell EMC). He received an MBA from UNC in 2014, with a focus on Strategy and Entrepreneurship. Five years later, he and Ugalde partnered to create the “first and only” quality assurance acceleration platform.

This is not MuukLabs first funding. The company last raised $1.385 million in equity capital earlier this year. They also participated in TechStars in 2020, receiving a $120,000 investment. Later in 2020, they were awarded a $256,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

“The Google for Startups Latino Founders Fund holds immense potential to boost MuukTest’s competitiveness and drive scalable growth,” said Vargas in the Google press release. “We are truly grateful for the opportunity the Google for Startups Latino Founders Fund presents and are excited to maximize its impact in the months ahead.”

The company plans to use the funding to hire an additional data scientist, expediting the release of future updates.