Hello Alice, a Houston-based platform for supporting small business, raised $21 million in Series B funding to expand capital, networks and business service resources.
Subscribe to the Crunchbase Daily
QED Investors led the round with participation from new investors including Backstage Capital, Green Book Ventures, Harbert Growth Partners and How Women Invest, as well as a group of individuals, including Guy Fieri and Jean Case. The new funding gives the company approximately $30 million in total investments to date.
Co-founders Elizabeth Gore and Carolyn Rodz formed Hello Alice in 2017, which has since grown into a community of approximately 500,000 business owners across the world, as well as a network of partners in enterprise business services, government agencies and institutions focused on supporting owners of small and medium-sized businesses to scale and increase revenue.
“As a Latina founder and fellow small business owner, Elizabeth and I wanted to get specific with industries and who is leading the business so that unique paths are supported to help them make better decisions,” CEO Rodz told Crunchbase News. “As we have raised capital for Hello Alice, we are raising capital for our companies.”
Indeed, the new funding will go toward supporting business owners, including people of color, women, men, immigrants, LGBTQ+ owners, veterans and owners with disabilities. And especially to serve small business owners as they emerge from the global pandemic, as well as to launch a mobile application.
In the past 24 months, Hello Alice achieved more than 1,100 percent growth and pivoted last April to launch its COVID-19 Business Resource Center, where Gore and Rodz have raised and deployed more than $20 million in emergency grants and resources to small business owners to support them through the pandemic.
Most of the company’s growth came through word-of-mouth, according to Gore. In addition, the company grew year over year in revenue.
Next up, the company intends to continue its focus on small businesses, of which there are more than 31 million, in the earliest stages, according to Rodz. Hello Alice will be working to find capital in the form of grants, loans, credit and venture capital.
“That is a top need for whether they are growing or surviving,” Gore said in an interview. “That is why we launched the small business funding center. America’s comeback from the global pandemic will center around the business owner. We think 2022 will be the year of the small business, and our goal is to help.”
QED Investors Founding Partner Frank Rotman said QED is a boutique venture fund that invests in companies in the financial services industry and the tangential markets that touch it.
He learned about Hello Alice from another investor and found the company to be unique in its mission to address the large problem of small businesses accessing capital and resources. Rotman added that new business formation is at an all-time high, and Hello Alice has put together a large network of education and resources young businesses can tap into.
“They are on a mission to help young businesses succeed through education and curated access to tools and resources,” Rotman said in an interview. “Small business success depends on so many factors, and they are helping founders gain access to the same resources that others have.”
Feature photo of Hello Alice co-founders Elizabeth Gore and Carolyn Rodz courtesy of Pocho Sanchez.
Blogroll illustration: Dom Guzman
Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.