DIVERSITY: Black Business Power Trifecta- Greenwood Acquires Valence, on the Heels of Its Acquisition of The Gathering Spot… Banking/Job Recruiting/and Networking Community for Black Professionals Now All Under One Roof
Greenwood, a digital banking platform for Black individuals and business owners, has announced the acquisition of Valence, a digital platform that connects and provides resources to the Black professional community through its recruitment database and professional development products.
This acquisition, announced in a press release Wednesday, is designed to provide Greenwood’s community of nearly 1 million Black professionals with access to tens of thousands of job listings, via Valence’s recruiting database. This will also help companies diversify their workforces at every level, from early career to C-suite.
The financial details of the acquisition have not been disclosed.
This announcement follows Greenwood’s recent acquisition of The Gathering Spot, a private membership network focused on the Black community. The Greenwood Inc. conglomerate, with HQ in Atlanta, now has under its umbrella all three entities – Greenwood, Valence and The Gathering Spot – with the shared mission of closing the racial wealth gap and providing tools/education 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,” Ryan Glover, cofounder and chairman of Greenwood, said in the release.
Valence was cofounded in LA in 2019 by Kobie Fuller, who now serves as chairman. He is also a general partner at Upfront Ventures, also based in LA. The other founders were Emily Slade and LaMer Walker.
From the get-go Valence wanted to play 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 like finance and tech.
Valence has raised more than $7 million from investors such as GGV Capital and Upfront Ventures.
“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,” Fuller said in the release.
As a result of the acquisition, Fuller will join the advisory board of Greenwood.
Valence offers two 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 five 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.
In 2020 Valence also launched a new initiative, the Valence Funding Network, to link Black entrepreneurs with top partners at firms including Accel, Sequoia, First Round Capital and Upfront Ventures. Through this initiative, Black founders and future founders have the opportunity to connect with general partners of these firms for mentorship and coaching.