Female-founded tech startup Kanarys secures $3m seed round
Kanarys, first Black and female-founded DEI technology company that gathers specific, actionable insights to help diagnose, prioritize, and optimize DEI efforts in the workplace, announced the closing of its $3 million seed round. Led by Zeal Capital Partners' Inclusive Investing™ fund, the round also includes Revolution's Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Morgan Stanley, 100 Black Angels Fund, Segal Ventures, and Jigsaw Ventures. Kanarys will use the funding to further advance product features, make key hires on the technology and business development teams, and accelerate sales and marketing efforts.
This funding comes as more companies embrace transparency, prioritize DEI, strengthen workplace culture, and use data-driven approaches. This brings the total amount raised by Kanarys co-founders, Mandy Price and Star Carter, to $4.6 million to date, a positive shift towards more equitable venture capital trends. In 2017, studies showed that 98 percent of venture capital raised in the U.S. went to men. Black entrepreneurs in general receive less than one percent of venture capital, and Black women founders make up only 0.6 percent of venture capital funding raised. According to data obtained from Crunchbase, Mandy and Star are among just 25 Black women founders who have raised at least $4.6 million in venture capital and two of only 93 Black women who have raised over $1 million in funding.
Mandy Price, CEO and Co-founder, Kanarys: "We know that a focus on DEI in business is not just the right thing to do for employees, it also makes good business sense. Kanarys' DEI data arms companies, for the first time, to make precise, immediate, and informed decisions using real, intersectional metrics around their diversity goals and inclusion programs that ultimately drive bottom-line business objectives. We are encouraged by the commitment of our investors and customers in our shared vision to help every person Work Where They Belong."
The company is currently measuring DEI insights on nearly 1,000 U.S. companies through verified employee reviews, company policies, and organizational data, making it the largest DEI data-driven platform of its kind in the U.S. Since launching the platform in 2019, the company has grown 2,000 percent in users on its platform, and its customers include Fortune 500 brands.
Nasir Qadree, Founder and Managing Partner, Zeal Capital Partners: "We are proud to back Kanarys because the founders are enacting real change, and their use of advanced technology and data is redefining how corporations measure and analyze the impact of DEI initiatives. There is a sense of urgency among corporations and organizations to do better by their employees and Kanarys is a trusted solution that will lead to improved workplaces and enhanced outcomes."
Kanarys has achieved a number of other notable milestones in 2020, including an investment by tech giant Google and being selected for its Startups Accelerator: Black Founders Class. The company was named one of the three winners of the Rise of the Rest Virtual Tour: Equity Edition, chosen from more than 500 applicants. The co-founders have been recognized in Entrepreneur's 100 Powerful Women of 2020, featured on Good Morning America, and accepted into the Unreasonable FUTURE of Work program, working with the Fossil Foundation, Pearson, and Accenture to create a more inclusive future of work. Additionally, this year, the company partnered with several major advocacy organizations, including the National Urban League and Prospanica, and Kanarys' CEO, Mandy Price, was named a 2020 UN Day Global Leadership recipient and Dallas Startup Week's 2020 Rising Entrepreneur.