Alice (previously Circular Board), the world’s first machine learning business advisor and first digital accelerator, announced the close of its first significant equity-based funding round. In an era when inclusive entrepreneurship is a social and economic imperative, a diverse group of investors have put their money and time towards the only existing, scalable solution to business advisory. Signia Venture Partners led the $1 million seed round with participation from investors Jean Case, Sherpa Capital, Zehner LLC, Shatter Fund, Cathie Reid and Lovell Family Limited Partnership/Ann Lovell, president of Women Moving Millions.
Alice is also pleased to welcome Zaw Thet, partner at Signia, and Elizabeth Gore, entrepreneur in residence at Dell, to the Board of Directors. On the near-term horizon, Alice will also be announcing the addition of substantial non-equity capital to support the company’s growth trajectory.
While fulfilling a social mission, Alice is also committed to innovating technology that removes barriers and opens doors for entrepreneurs. “Advances in machine learning and AI are transforming the world around us. At Signia, we are particularly excited about Alice as a solution application to bias and sexism in business and in providing opportunities for entrepreneurs to build their companies faster and more efficiently than ever,” said Thet.
Deemed the “Siri for entrepreneurs” by media, Alice democratizes access to business solutions by connecting women and other underrepresented business owners to opportunities, knowledge and communities. Through the application of machine learning, Alice is also able to predict the unique needs of each founder and proactively recommend content to save them time and money and to accelerate growth. Since January 2016, the company has served thousands of woman-led companies from six continents, and its 268 accelerator alumni have raised more than $35 million in capital.
“At its core, Alice provides entrepreneurs with the tools, access to capital, advice and networks they need to succeed, regardless of where they come from or who they know,” said Carolyn Rodz, founder and CEO of Alice.
“Since the company began nearly two years ago, we have been fortunate to maintain a strong financial position through programming and partnerships with major organizations, like Dell Technologies, Johnson & Johnson, Urban Decay, Kauffman Foundation, U.S. Small Business Administration and the United Nations Foundation. The close of this financing round allows us to double down on our growth strategy and reach more underserved entrepreneurs throughout the globe,” Rodz continued.
“Have you ever seen innovation wheresomeone didn’t take a risk?” –Jean Case
Women and minorities are the fastest growing segment of business owners, yet the statistics around their access to capital and influential networks are not aligned with their potential to contribute to economic growth. Alice aims to create a new playing field for these entrepreneurs, with the simultaneous opportunity to use emerging technology to reach a $3.5 trillion global market.
Investor Jean Case, CEO of Case Foundation and Chairman of the National Geographic Society Board of Trustees, said about Alice, “Ensuring women founders and entrepreneurs of color have access to the same funding, networking and mentoring opportunities as traditional founders will strengthen our economy and make sure that anyone from anywhere has a fair shot at the American Dream. I am supporting Alice because it helps break down barriers and brings female entrepreneurs the tools they need to scale and succeed.”
Learn more about Alice at helloalice.com.