Elizabeth Gore and Carolyn Rodz’s Company is First in the U.S. To Include #MeToo Clause with Legal Implications to Investors
Houston, Texas – (October 16, 2019): Alice, the first platform powered by AI that works as a personal business adviser to small business owners, today announced it closed a Series A funding led by SVB Financial Group, parent company to Silicon Valley Bank, the bank of the world’s most innovative companies. Terms of the financing have not been disclosed.
Founded in 2017 by Elizabeth Gore and Carolyn Rodz, Alice uses AI to connect small business owners to resources from enterprise companies, governments and organizations, providing an online platform that acts as a free business adviser. As these businesses grow and engage within the Alice ecosystem, the platform’s technology learns more about a business owner’s needs and matches them with opportunities to scale based on their stage of growth, industry, and location - including resources like capital and business services, and connections to communities of like-minded business owners and mentors. Alice has a community of more than 100,000 companies in all fifty states and across the globe, is open to all founders, and has a highlighted focus on helping women, people of color, veterans, the LGBTQ+ community, and persons with disabilities. With this round of funding, Alice will continue to build its predictive technology, using data analytics to guide each entrepreneur through every stage of their business.
Integral to the raise is a first-of-its-kind #MeToo morality clause. The clause reinforces the commitment of both Alice and SVB Financial Group to ensure Alice board members and voting stockholders are held accountable for choices that could affect Alice’s workforce and community of business owners. The clause requires stockholders to use corporate governance mechanisms to vote for removal of any board member in the event of a “#MeToo event, racial discrimination, and/or sexual orientation discrimination incident.
“Alice offers a level playing field for the 543,000 owners launching per month in America, and with SVB we found an innovative partner that will help us get our resources into the hands of what we call the ‘New Majority’ of business owners, collectively -- women, people of color, our US Veterans, entrepreneurs with disabilities and the LGBTQ+ community,” said Elizabeth Gore, president and chairwoman of Alice. “As a company that sees the monetary value of inclusivity, we firmly believe that a #MeToo type clause should be included in every funding agreement for every business in the country. Sexual and race discrimination is just plain bad for business.”
“We’re proud to support Alice and its work to help all businesses launch and grow, especially those run by underrepresented individuals. Alice is building an incredible data set of SMBs in the country and we expect the company to grow alongside the small businesses in its portfolio,” said John China, president of SVB Capital. “The Alice team is taking an important step with the introduction of a morality clause and I expect to see other companies follow their lead.”
Alice is a free, multichannel AI-driven platform that helps businesses launch and grow. With a community of over 100,000 companies in all 50 states and across the globe, 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. Co-headquartered in Houston and San Francisco and 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 every American with an entrepreneurial spirit. To learn more visit our company page at www.helloalice.com, as well as Twitter, Linkedin, and Instagram.
About SVB Financial Group
For more than 35 years, SVB Financial Group (NASDAQ: SIVB) and its subsidiaries have helped innovative companies and their investors move bold ideas forward, fast. SVB Financial Group’s businesses, including Silicon Valley Bank, offer commercial, investment and private banking, asset management, private wealth management, brokerage and investment services and funds management services to companies in the technology, life science and healthcare, private equity and venture capital, and premium wine industries. Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, SVB Financial Group operates in centers of innovation around the world. Learn more at www.svb.com.
SVB Financial Group is the holding company for all business units and groups. ©2019 SVB Financial Group. All rights reserved. Silicon Valley Bank is the California bank subsidiary of SVB Financial Group. Silicon Valley Bank is a member of FDIC and Federal Reserve System. SVB, SVB >, SVB Financial Group, Silicon Valley Bank, Make Next Happen Now and the chevron device are trademarks of SVB Financial Group, used under license.