HOUSTON, JUNE 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Hello Alice, the machine learning platform connecting small business owners to capital, networks and business services, today announced a $21 million Series B raise led by QED Investors with participation from new investors including Backstage Capital, Green Book Ventures, Harbert Growth Partners, and How Women Invest. These leaders are joining historic Hello Alice investors Silicon Valley Bank, Bumble, Jean Case, Phyllis Newhouse, Courtney Adeleye, Serena Ventures, and others to ensure Main Street America builds back stronger than ever.
The $21 million Series B raise further supports Hello Alice's mission to foster opportunity for all business owners, including people of color, women, men, immigrants, LGBTQ+ owners, veterans, owners with disabilities, and everyone with an entrepreneurial spirit. Funds will be used to strengthen the company's ability to serve small business owners as they emerge from the pandemic, enhance the predictive capabilities on its platform to further personalized learning paths, scale capital deployed to small business owners, and launch a mobile application.
"These investments signal that despite the recent challenges small business owners have faced, there is an economic tidal wave that will revitalize Main Street, led by the entrepreneurs we serve," said Elizabeth Gore, Co-Founder and President of Hello Alice.
Since pivoting their support strategies and launching the COVID-19 Business Resource Center last April, co-founders Elizabeth Gore and Carolyn Rodz have raised and deployed over $20 million in emergency grants and resources for small business owners to support their survival through the pandemic. The largest percentage of those grants went to New Majority owners, prioritizing people of color and women.
"We are thrilled to have a cap table as diverse as the business owners we serve," said Carolyn Rodz, Co-Founder and CEO of Hello Alice. "Our investors are leaders from the Black, Hispanic, LGBTQ+, Women, and US Veteran communities. As a Latina founder and fellow small business owner, I want to ensure that as our company grows, we are fueling future diversity in capital and breaking through ceilings for the benefit of our community."
In the past 18 months, Hello Alice has achieved over 1,100% growth and now serves nearly 500,000 small business owners weekly, while increasing revenues by over 600% through their SaaS offering. With this raise, Hello Alice continues to lead as the primary platform to access capital for SMBs, while ensuring that those traditionally left out of growth capital are now fully included and nurtured towards successful capitalization.
"Small business owners are the backbone of the U.S. economy, but many fail before they've had an opportunity to meaningfully serve the community in which they're based," said Frank Rotman, QED Investors Founding Partner. "Access to both capital and business expertise remain the biggest obstacles for SMBs, challenges heightened for women- and minority-owned businesses. Traditionally, corporations and government grants want to engage and support, but there hasn't been a source of truth on who can qualify for their diversity grants, funds and programs. Hello Alice solves this problem, building tools that empower the new majority and enabling corporations and governments to support SMBs. Founders Carolyn and Elizabeth and the entire Hello Alice team are having a real, tangible impact on the ecosystem. We are incredibly excited to help them help others."
According to the most recent Impact Report from Hello Alice and GGV Capital, small business owners are heading into 2021 with remarkable optimism. While pandemic burdens have been disproportionately felt by members of the New Majority, 83% of owners surveyed* believe their business will perform better in 2021 than in 2020. 93% plan to hire in 2021 compared to 45% that laid off employees in 2020, and 75% intend to spend more on technology in 2021 than in 2020.
"Green Book Ventures is strategically partnering with Elizabeth and Carolyn as they continue growing Hello Alice into an essential platform for small businesses," said Lawrence Bancroft, Managing Member of Green Book Ventures. "Their deep commitment and unique focus on 'New Majority' entrepreneurs has opened doors and provided resources for thousands of underserved companies. Hello Alice aligns perfectly with our mission of funding companies that can accelerate the growth of Black-owned businesses and thereby helping to close the wealth gap."
"The Hello Alice team is tackling one of the biggest risks, and at the same time, the biggest opportunities for economic growth in the US, and that is making entrepreneurship accessible to all," said John China, President, SVB Capital. "There is enormous possibility available to people with the right access to information, connections and capital, which Hello Alice is making available for all small businesses. That's a big deal."
For companies interested in partnering with Hello Alice, please visit HelloAlice.com/partnerships, and for business owners interested in learning more about the free resources, please visit HelloAlice.com/tools. Please direct all media requests to Christanna Ciabattoni, [email protected].
*Based on data compiled from 97,739 founders operating in all 50 states.
Hello Alice Series B Investors: Backstage Capital Blue Ivy Cathie Reid BCO Venture Fund Belle Capital Jacki Zehner Jake Hastings Harbert Growth Partners How Women Invest Golden Seeds Green Book Ventures Jean Case Lovell Family QED Investors Ring Fund Shatter Fund Signia Venture Partners Silicon Valley Bank
ABOUT HELLO ALICE Hello Alice is a free, multichannel platform that helps businesses launch and grow. With a community of nearly 500,000 business owners in all 50 states and across the globe, Hello Alice is building the largest network of owners in the country while tracking data and trends to increase the success rate for entrepreneurs. Our partners include enterprise business services, government agencies, and institutions looking to serve small- and medium-business owners to ensure increased revenues and promote scale. A Latina owned company, founded by Carolyn Rodz and Elizabeth Gore, we believe in business for all by providing access to all owners including women, people of color, veterans, and everyone with an entrepreneurial spirit. To learn more, visit www.helloalice.com, as well as Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.
ABOUT QED INVESTORS QED Investors is a global leading boutique venture capital firm based in Alexandria, VA. Founded by Nigel Morris and Frank Rotman in 2007, QED Investors is focused on investing in early stage, disruptive financial services companies in the U.S., U.K., Latin America and Southeast Asia. QED Investors is dedicated to building great businesses and uses a unique, hands-on approach that leverages our partners' decades of entrepreneurial and operational experience, helping their companies achieve breakthrough growth. Notable investments include Credit Karma, ClearScore, Nubank, SoFi, Avant, Remitly, GreenSky, Klarna, QuintoAndar, Loft, Konfio, Creditas, AvidXchange, Current and Mission Lane.