Valence — a newly-launched platform designed to connect the Black tech community and help close the wealth gap — announced that it raised $5.25 million in its Series A round. GGV Capital was the lead investor during this round and GGV’s Managing Partner Hans Tung will join Valence’s Board of Directors. Other investors included Upfront Ventures, Valence’s initial investor, Silicon Valley Blank, and SoftBank Opportunity Fund.
Launched in November 2019, Valence’s mission is “to provide a digital home for Black talent to connect, access opportunities and aggregate their power.” In the nine months since opening applications to their platform, the community has grown to 10,000 Black professionals and boasts industry leaders such as Arlan Hamilton, Julia Collins, and Paul Judge as members. In addition to providing a space for Black professionals to connect, Valence invites top employers to recruit from the platform. Valence also works with tech companies to help them build diverse and inclusive companies where Black professionals can feel safe and welcome.
As the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to permanently change the nature of work, Valence’s mission seems more necessary than ever. Throughout the lockdown, they’ve hosted live virtual events and summits featuring Black venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, activists, and creatives who’ve made names for themselves as leaders in their respective industries. Their speakers have included Jewel Burks Solomon, head of Google for Startups, Sherrell Dorsey, founder of The Plug, and Angela Rye, social activist and political commentator.
They also launched the Boost Challenge, which provided members an opportunity to receive one-on-one mentorship from some of the platform’s most accomplished members.
In their press release, Valence stated that their new funding “will help Valence rapidly grow its engineering and product teams to expand the product’s capabilities to intelligently connect its members with capital and opportunities as well as build its new executive development offering.”