Tech Startup Bevy Raises $40M Series C to Break Diversity Barriers in Tech and Empower Its Black Employees
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Tech startup Bevy — the only enterprise virtual, hybrid, and in-person event community platform on the market — announced that the company has just secured a $40 million Series C funding round in an effort to continue helping companies expand their global customer communities and drive radical change for diversity and inclusion in tech.
The funding round was led by Accel Partners — for the second time in the past year — with participation from other investors such as LinkedIn, Qualtrics co-founder Ryan Smith, Upfront Ventures, as well as over 25 top Black leaders in the tech industry.
Bevy — currently operating with a completely remote workforce located in 10 different countries on four continents — plans to use the new funding to expand its team from 100 employees to 250 later this year.
Not only does this new funding round mark a major milestone for Bevy, it also outlines the company’s intentions to establish more diversity in tech so it deliberately carved out more space to allow 30 individual Black leaders into the round as investors.
According to a press release shared with AfroTech, 70% of individuals who participated in the funding round – which also make up 20% of the total funds raised — are renowned Black leaders. With a strong commitment to progressively changing the tech industry to be more inclusive for Black people, Bevy anticipates that soon Black employees will represent 20% of its workforce by this September — a major step up from its current 14% today and 0% as of last February.
Other notable Black leaders in this funding round include nationally recognized Diversity and Inclusion pioneer James Lowry; Head of Google for Startups Jewel Burks Solomon; three-time Grammy-winning mixing engineer Derek Ali; Include Venture Partners General Partner Taj Eldridge; and many more.
“This unprecedented focus of Bevy and their investors in this round ensure that the voices both within the company and who the company serves allow for those often unheard to be heard,” Eldridge told AfroTech. “This needs to be a model for others in the tech community to truly have an impactful investment. Every investment we make has an impact, we just have to decide if it will be positive or negative. I’m proud Bevy has made a positive impact.”
The racial and social justice reckoning that sparked following the murder of George Floyd put a huge spotlight on Silicon Valley’s diversity issue.
According to a fact sheet shared with AfroTech, Alphabet, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter all reported low single-digit increases in their percentage of Black employees six years after receiving their first diversity reports, a CNBC analysis of the annual disclosures shared.
“With most tech companies reporting low single digit percentages of their workforce being Black and the racial wealth gap only widening, Bevy is taking action by holding themselves accountable towards dramatically increasing diversity of its workforce and cap table,” Kobie Fuller — General Partner at Upfront and Founder/Chairman of Valence — shared in a statement.
Visionary management consultant and entrepreneur James Lowry echoed this revolutionary notion stating, “To see such rapid growth in employee diversity and to prioritize Black ownership in tech companies in this manner is unprecedented. We are creating the blueprint for everyone to follow as we look to create Black wealth and a better tomorrow.”
Bevy’s platform — which was founded in 2017 by Derek Andersen, Joel Fernandes, and Alex Bendig — was purpose-built on a mission to help community professionals thrive after witnessing a lack of technology available to scale communities. Together, all three co-founders created Bevy to be both a community-focused data platform and events hub that enables enterprise teams to build out their global community programs.
A press release reports that as the industry’s gold standard for helping out with hybrid and in-person events, Bevy is now positioning itself to earn the enterprise portion of the market and tracking to reach $30 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR) by the end of the year.
With this in mind and a goal to lead the charge for DEI efforts in tech, Bevy is making a powerful statement with its unique funding round.
Though Bevy recognizes that it’s rare to see this level of support for Black investors and leaders in the industry, it hopes to be a role model that other companies in the innovation economy can follow after.
For more information about Bevy, visit its website.