Houston’s Alice Among Women-Led Startups Receiving Bumble Funding
Alice, a Houston-based digital community that connects women founders to resources tailored to their startup’s needs, has received funding from the Bumble Fund.
The fund, which was launched last July by Bumble, a women-oriented dating app, did not specify the amount it invested in the startups. In a press release Thursday, the Austin company said the fund typically writes an average check size of $25,000.
Carolyn Rodz, Alice’s founder and CEO, said in an interview that the funds will be used for software development as well as new hires. She also declined to specify Bumble’s investment amount.
In addition to the cash, Bumble plans to use Alice’s software to let entrepreneurs apply to receive an investment from Bumble Fund. Even those startups that don’t end up getting a check from the fund will continue to have access to Alice’s tools and community.
“The benefit is the more data we have, the better we can predict for our users, the entrepreneurs, what the best next step is for them: what’s working for business owners like them, and what doesn’t work,” Rodz said.
Alice’s customers are corporations and government organizations that pay monthly fees for insights on the early-stage business community, such as how certain startups succeed or fail.
Bumble’s entry into venture investing comes as awareness has increased about how little startup funding goes to women founders. All-women startup teams received just 2.2 percent of the total $85 billion invested by venture capitalists last year, according to Pitchbook.
“While we can’t fund every promising business and entrepreneur, we strongly believe these companies and founders deserve access to grow, evolve, and thrive,” Sarah Jones Simmer, Bumble’s chief operating officer and leader of the fund’s investment strategy, said in the prepared statement. “Through community, access to experts, how-to guides, and more, Bumble and Alice are committed to helping women founders find the support and resources they need on their path to success.”
In addition to Alice, Bumble Fund is also investing in three other startups: Gixo, a fitness app that says it turns smartphones into gyms; Translator, which makes diversity and inclusion training software for companies, schools, and nonprofits; and Promise, which makes software for criminal justice organizations to help reduce recidivism.
In Thursday’s press release, Bumble says its venture fund makes investments ranging from $5,000 to $250,000 in portfolio companies.
While Bumble is known for its women-friendly dating app, the company has also expanded with other services. For example, Bumble BFF is geared to help people find new friends. Another service, Bumble Bizz, helps with professional networking.