First Black and Female-Founded DEI Tech Platform Kanarys Closes Historic $3M Seed Round
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Kanarys
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First Black and Female-Founded DEI Tech Platform Kanarys Closes Historic $3M Seed Round

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) technology company, Kanarys just announced a historic $3 million seed round, and one of the best parts? It’s the first Black and female-founded DEI technology platform ever.

Kanarys — co-founded by Mandy Price, Chief Executive Officer, and Star Carter, Chief Operating Officer — helps to diagnose, prioritize, and optimize DEI efforts in the workplace by gathering specific, actionable insights.

Courtesy of Kanarys

Led by Nasir Qadree and Zeal Capital Partners’ Inclusive Investing™ fund, the historic round also includes Jigsaw Ventures, Segal Ventures, Morgan Stanley, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, and 100 Black Angels Fund.

We spoke to CEO and co-founder Mandy Price to learn more about Kanarys’ vision, what DEI means to her, and what the funding round means for future Black women founders to come.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length. 

AfroTech: Congratulations on your historic seed round! Tell us in three words what Kanarys is and what it means to you.

Mandy Price: Data-driven DEI. I say this because so many companies use data when it comes to diversity, but are they really measuring equity and inclusion? We’re talking about the experiences that underrepresented groups are having. We provide those resources and information to help them better understand the issues within the organizations so that they can address the policies and procedures that perpetuate the inequities within the workplace. Sometimes people say that data will cause us to lose the story, but we view it as a way to amplify those stories.

Kanarys was inspired by the phrase “canary in the coal mine.” We want to be the first alert in helping to create healthy work environments

AfroTech: What does DEI mean to you?

Mandy Price: When I think of diversity, I think of the identity of someone. When I think of equity, I think of that same person having access and opportunity no matter their identity and when I think of inclusion I think of that person feeling included and that they belong no matter their identity.

When I think of DEI and what it means and why it is important, I think of fairness and justice. I think that if we want to truly have an equal and fair workplace, it shouldn’t matter what a person’s identity is — they should be able to ascend throughout their respective organization and have the same opportunities as anyone else.

AfroTech: Despite the lack of venture capital for Black women founders, you and your co-founders managed to close on a historic seed round of $3 million. What does this mean for other Black women founders looking to do the same?

Mandy Price: People are realizing that talent exists in all factors and that’s what we’re seeing from the investment community. The same awakening that happened over the summer for company’s about diversity and inclusion is happening in the VC world. What it shows is that it’s possible, but it’s also really important for people to realize that some of the traditional big names are what they have to stick to.

For more information about Kanarys, click here.