Ten years ago, I left the corporate world to embark on a journey as an entrepreneur.
After a few failed attempts, my co-founder Joel Fernandes and I built Startup Grind into the world’s largest community for entrepreneurs. We learned a lot along the way and ultimately with my other co-founder Alex Bendig’s help we built what is now Bevy. Bevy powers enterprise event communities for brands such as Google, Snowflake, Facebook, HubSpot, Adobe, Salesforce, Slack, Twitch, Atlassian, Zendesk, Twilio, and others.
In 2020 we saw an explosion of enterprise brands wanting to build communities while hosting virtual events for customers and employees. And today, I’m thrilled to announce that Bevy has raised $40 million in Series C funding with a $325 million valuation.
But today I want to focus on a different issue.
Following the death of George Floyd, Silicon Valley pledged to focus on improving racial inequities in the tech sector. However, not enough progress has been made, and the racial wealth gap is only widening. At Bevy, we’re committed to radically reducing the racial inequality that exists in the tech industry.
For this funding round, we’ve built a coalition of investors that reflect the communities that we live in every day. Of the 40 new investors, 70% — representing 20% of the total funds raised — are Black investors.
This includes nationally recognized diversity and inclusion pioneer James Lowry; current Facebook board member and EVP at PayPal, Peggy Alford; and former Beats by Dre CMO Omar Johnson, alongside many more renowned Black leaders.
We’re also taking action by holding ourselves accountable to dramatically increase the diversity of our workforce and our investors. As we grow, we’re expanding Bevy’s team from 100 to 250 in 2021. I’m committed to having Black employees represent 20% of Bevy employees by September 2021, up from 14% today and 0% last February.
Looking back, I’m thrilled at what Bevy has been able to accomplish. Today, 30,000 organizers have used the Bevy platform to host more than 100,000 events across 120 countries. We have big plans for the future of community-powered business, and we believe that building a diverse company is key to our long-term success.
From our origin at Startup Grind to today, Bevy was founded on a set of core values that have given us the foundation to build a world-class team. As we look forward to the next 10 years, our mission is to continue to grow and change for the better.
With this latest round of investment, we welcome an impressive group of diverse leaders who will help us shape the future and ensure that community events — whether virtual, hybrid or in-person — are the most transformative technology for the next decade.
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