Bumble Fund Invests in Alice and Other Women-Led Startups, Plus Bumble Hive Takes Over Jo’s at SXSW


Austin-based Bumble announced this week that it has completed its second round of investments into women-led startups.

Through its “Bumble Fund” Bumble, which is a women-focused dating and social network with more than 50 million users, has made early stage investments in women founders. The latest round includes an investment in Houston-based Alice, an AI-powered platform that provides entrepreneurs with resources they need to build their business.

In addition, Bumble has opened applications for its third round of investments with the details available through Bumble Bizz.

Bumble has also partnered with Alice to allow founders interested in the Bumble Fund to apply through Alice’s website.

”The partnership marks the first time every applicant of a venture fund will receive education, support, mentorship and guidance to grow their companies, no matter if they qualify for investment at that moment,” according to a news release.

BumbleFund, which launched in July of 2018, is open to all entrepreneurs in the U.S. who identify as women, prioritizing those with diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. It provides early-stage investment ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.

The latest round of investments include the following: Alice, founded byCarolyn Rodz and Elizabeth Gore:an AI-powered technology helping entrepreneurs find the right path to start and grow their companies: Gixo– founded bySelina Tobaccowala: a fitness app founded to improve global health and activity rates by democratizing access to live workouts with professional trainers: Translator– founded byNatalie Egan:the world’s most advanced diversity & inclusion training system for corporations, schools and non-profits and Promise– founded byPhaedra Ellis-Lamkins:a technology company that creates cost-effective, equitable, and humane alternatives to incarceration with a mission to get people out of jail and provide ongoing support to help them stay out.

“We are looking to invest in entrepreneurs whose company purpose solves a problem that disproportionately affects women,” Sarah Jones Simmer, Chief Operating Officer atBumble, who leadsBumbleFund’s investment strategy, said in a news release. “While we can’t fund every promising business and entrepreneur, we strongly believe these companies and founders deserve access to grow, evolve, and thrive. Through community, access to experts, how-to guides, and more,Bumbleand Alice are committed to helping women founders find the support and resources they need on their path to success.”

As an equity investor in Alice,Bumblejoins Melinda Gates, Jean Case, Zaw Thet and others, in supporting Alice’s unique AI platform designed to tailor early stage business support to diverse founders and business owners.

“For the last several years, only 2% of venture capital went to women founders. At Alice andBumble, we see that as a 98 percent opportunity,” Carolyn Rodz, Alice, founder, and CEO, said in a news release. “TheBumbleFund, powered by Alice, is that opportunity in action; together, we’re going to rewrite the rules of venture capital to be more accessible, more transparent and more supportive for women founders.” Bumble’sfirst round of investmentswere in Beautycon, Cleo Capital, Female Founders Fund, Mahmee, and Sofia Los Angeles, a winner of the inauguralBumbleBizz Pitch Comp.

In addition, the latest investments, Bumble is hosting the Bumble Hive from March 8th through March 18th at Jo’s Coffee Shop in downtown Austin on 2nd Street. The space will be transformed into one of Bumble’s famous, photo-friendly Bumble Hive. The Bumble Hive will be open to the public every day during SXSW from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. It will serve complimentary coffee throughout the day and breakfast tacos from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. to those who show their Bumble Date, BFF or Bumble Bizz profile. It will also feature special programming throughout SXSW. For more information, visit Bumble’s SXSW site.

And on International Women’s Day, the Bumble Hive will feature a special concert performance Friday night starting at 8 p.m. by Princess Nokia.