Strengthens Greenwood as the largest digital network for Blacks and minorities; Follows Recent Acquisition of The Gathering Spot and Creates a Trifecta of Fintech Product, Million Member Community, and Career Development Platform
June 22, 2022
Greenwood, the digital banking platform for Black and Latino individuals and business owners, has announced the acquisition of Valence, the leading platform that connects, showcases, and empowers the Black professional community through their recruitment and professional development products. This acquisition will provide Greenwood’s community of nearly one million Black professionals with access to tens of thousands of job listings and career opportunities through the Valence Pipeline recruiting database. This will also help companies diversify their workforces at every level, from early career to C-suite.
Valence was founded in 2019 by Kobie Fuller, Chairman of Valence and General Partner at Upfront Ventures, and also Emily Slade and LaMer Walker to create a centralized community network of Black professionals and easily create a pipeline for companies to find outstanding Black talent. Valence plays a key role in connecting the innovation economy to the Black community and specifically addressing the lack of diversity in leadership in high paying industries such as finance and technology. Valence has raised over $7 million from investors such as GGV Capital and Upfront Ventures.
“We’re being very targeted in how we can drive economic opportunity and wealth creation in the Black community,” said Mr. Fuller. “Joining with Greenwood is a commitment to our community and accelerates our mission towards creating new paths to success for Black professionals and fuels our efforts towards closing the racial wealth gap.”
“Emerging Black leaders continue to face enormous challenges navigating career development and advancement, while companies and leadership struggle to attract and retain Black talent in their executive ranks,” said Guy Primus, CEO of Valence. “Valence provides a platform for executives, employers and Black business leaders to take meaningful steps to accelerate Black representation in the C-suite and drive positive change in corporate America.”
As a result of this acquisition, Mr. Fuller will join the advisory board of Greenwood. Mr. Primus will continue in the role as CEO of Valence, in addition to being named as a Vice President at Greenwood.
Valence offers two specific products that help with professional development and career growth:
Pipeline recruiting database: Pipeline is Valence’s recruiting database, a central hub for Black talent available to corporate recruiters looking to diversify their workforce at all levels including the C-suite. Over 400 corporations have partnered with Valence to source and recruit diverse talent.
BONDS professional development: BONDS is Valence’s professional development program for emerging Black leaders, designed for Black professionals with 5 to 15 years of work experience. Through coaching, community and curriculum, BONDS allows members to unlock their full potential and set them on the path to realizing their goals. By partnering with Valence’s BONDS, companies show their dedication to supporting the growth and development of Black talent.
In addition to these products, in 2020 Valence launched a new initiative called the Valence Funding Network to link Black entrepreneurs with top partners at firms including Accel, Sequoia, GGV, First Round Capital, Bessemer Ventures, Greylock, and Upfront Ventures. Through the initiative, Black founders and future founders have the opportunity to connect with General Partners of the firm for mentorship and coaching.
This announcement follows Greenwood’s recent acquisition of The Gathering Spot, a private membership network focused on the Black community. Together the combined conglomerate of Greenwood Inc, includes Greenwood, The Gathering Spot and Valence, all with a shared mission and vision of closing the racial wealth gap and providing the tools and education needed to empower the Black community to build generational wealth.
“This is a powerful moment in Black business history where we are combining three of the strongest communities focused on Black professionals and their career and financial needs,” said Ryan Glover, Co-founder & Chairman at Greenwood. “Adding the Valence platform to the benefits of Greenwood membership means we are supporting, educating, and we are connecting Black community directly to the job opportunities they need to grow their career and build generational wealth. By working together, we are laying the foundation for the future success of Black people for years to come.”
“Combining our financial content with the professional advice and support Valence provides means that Greenwood members will have an invaluable set of tools in their tool kit,” said Ryan Wilson, Chief of Community for Greenwood and Co-founder/CEO of The Gathering Spot. “The quality and functionality of the Valence platform brings a new level of access and professional options to the one million members of our ambitious community and it gives recruiters access to nearly a million Black professionals, creatives and entrepreneurs.”