SupplyHive™, an innovative provider of Supplier Performance Management Technology, announced today that it closed $2 million in seed funding by securing investors who believe in the power of diversity and inclusion: led by LOUD Capital with co-investors Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund and Cleveland Avenue-CAST US.
“Capital from this funding will allow the company to reach the next level of scale and impact by growing our sales and marketing resources and furthering product development and integrations,” says SupplyHive™ CEO and President Lou Sandoval. “We can expand our strong list of clients that include some of the FORTUNE 100’s most enviable brands.”
Sandoval added that “SupplyHive’s™ SPM solution offers much-needed transparency to companies’ efforts on DEI and ESG by creating pathways to identify ways to help suppliers grow. In doing this, it fosters inclusion that helps large corporations be better partners to diversity and all their suppliers.”
In the 2020 pandemic year, SupplyHive™ was able to subscribe to such client companies as Facebook, MARS Global, McDonald’s Corporation, Abbott, BOX, Eaton and First Energy—all great clients that have taken a leading-edge approach to Supplier Performance Management and Supplier Diversity Development.
“The investment by these new diverse venture capital firms signals a growing trend in venture-backed start-ups diverse funds supporting diverse-founded companies, especially in the technology sector where there are so few diverse executives,” said Sandoval. “Our company has humble beginnings and signifies the epitome of the American Dream—inclusion and the opportunity for wealth creation.”
Recently, the landscape of venture capitalism is expanding to include Black and Brown-founded firms. In a Wall Street Journal June 2021 article which examines the rise of funds seeking diversity among company founders, it cited a 2020 Morgan Stanley survey of venture capitalists that saw “43% said finding opportunities to invest with companies with nonwhite founders was a top priority, up 10 percentage points from the prior year.” The article also noted that “among new funds being launched in the first quarter of this year, 10.4 percent were debuted by Black-led firms, more than double the rate of 2019, according to research firm Different Funds.”
The three investors combine a powerful wealth of experience investing in various types of start-up companies.
Based in Columbus, Ohio and launched in 2015, LOUD Capital is an early-stage venture firm providing capital, entrepreneurship, and education to grow impactful companies across the globe.
“Supplier performance and diversity of your supplier base are critical to the growth of any company, large or small,” said Nishad Parmar, chief investment officer and senior partner, LOUD Capital (Chicago). “SupplyHive™ has cracked the code to blend these two using data analytics and technology and bring to light areas of opportunity for companies to balance their supplier network efficiently. We are excited to lead this round as a follow-on investment with various other diverse VC groups and make a global impact.”
Led by Chairman and CEO Steve Case, a co-founder of America Online (AOL), Revolution is a Washington D.C.-based investment firm founded in 2005 that partners with entrepreneurs to build transformative, category-defining companies. Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed fund invests catalytic capital in the most promising seed-stage companies outside of Silicon Valley, New York City and Boston.
“Today, companies large and small are increasingly recognizing that the need to prioritize DEI and ESG initiatives is both the right thing to do and the smart thing to do,” said Anna Mason, managing partner of Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. “We believe that SupplyHive™ represents a critical new layer of tech-enabled ‘infrastructure’ that can help some of the world’s largest companies better measure and manage these initiatives across a sprawling network of suppliers. With SupplyHive™, the enterprise can literally put its money where its mouth is on the topic of DEI and ESG.”
Based in Chicago and founded by former McDonald’s President and CEO Don Thompson and his wife Liz Thompson in 2015, Cleveland Avenue is a privately-held venture capital firm that invests in, builds and extends brands across a range of companies, industries and locations. Through its newly created Cleveland Avenue State Treasurer Urban Success Fund (CAST US), the firm will use this initiative to bridge the capital and resource gap impacting Black, Latinx, and women entrepreneurs in Chicago’s South and West Side neighborhoods.
“SupplyHive™ is an outstanding addition to our growing portfolio of companies founded and led by Black, Latinx and women entrepreneurs,” said Andrea Zopp, managing partner, CAST US-Cleveland Avenue. “The company’s experienced leadership, growth strategy and innovative platform to help businesses manage and scale their diverse suppliers align with our mission and goals.”
Launched in Chicago in 2018, SupplyHive™ was the brainchild of Latino founder and entrepreneur Mike Anguiano who wanted to help underserved communities. The company provides Supplier Performance Management (SPM) software designed to help corporations centralize, standardize, scale, and automate the supplier performance process. The company uses the latest innovations of Artificial Intelligence (Al), Machine Learning (ML), and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to analyze the aggregated quantitative and qualitative data.