True
True’s Sister Company AboveBoard Closes Seed Round with 91% of Outside Funds from Underrepresented Investors
Published July 13, 2021

True Search co-founded AboveBoard to help increase diversity in executive hiring and is proud to join a group of diverse investors in funding its mission.

AboveBoard Investors Reflect its Mission to Increase Diversity in Executive Hiring

[New York City, NY July 13, 2021] AboveBoard, an inclusive platform for executive placement that is increasing representation of Black, LatinX and female professionals on boards and at the C-suite/VP level, has raised a $3 million seed round to fuel its continued business momentum. The company is fulfilling its commitment to diversity in all aspects of its business by raising 91% of the outside funds in its seed round from underrepresented investors.


“It was important to us to raise this round from investors who are underrepresented,” said Lucinda Duncalfe, AboveBoard’s founder and CEO. “We have a powerful group that reflects our mission and I’m grateful for their support and investment in our vision. I couldn't be more pleased with the investor group we brought together to support the company’s growth”


“Angeles Investors participated in this round of funding because our membership was excited about the company’s mission as well as its momentum and trajectory,” said Adela Cepeda, of Angeles Investors whose mission is to find, fund and grow Hispanic and Latinx ventures. “Our members have often faced the gap that AboveBoard fills, so we understand the opportunity and we are happy to be able to invest in a company that is helping us overcome our own challenge. The early traction the company has created is extremely rare.”


Commune Angels committed very early to the round, which helped create momentum with other investors. The organization’s co-founder Terrence Reeves said, “We know the issue intimately, we love this solution, and we believe this team will succeed in driving change. Our membership is very excited to be a part of this mission.”


Among additional investors in this round are angels Jennifer Ceran, formerly of Smartsheet, Jonathan Mildenhall of TwentyFirstCenturyBrands and formerly of Airbnb, Nick Caldwell of Twitter, Bonita Stewart of Google, Farah Ali of Electronic Arts, and angel investor Amy Chang. They participated along with Commune Angels and Angeles Investors, and the company’s founding partner True Search.


AboveBoard is living its mission. Two-thirds of the employees are women, a third are LGBTQ+, 39% are Black and 17% are LatinX/HIspanic, and the leadership team is as diverse. 75% of the company’s board of directors are members of underrepresented groups.


True Search helped found the company and participated in this funding round. “We see a gap in the executive hiring market and the need for a new approach. AboveBoard fills that gap and reflects our commitment to increasing diversity,” said True Co-CEO Brad Stadler.


ABOUT ABOVEBOARD

AboveBoard is an inclusive platform for executive hiring. We expand access for under-represented executives to pursue board and executive openings confidentially. We focus on removing the barriers facing underrepresented executives—particularly female, Black, and Latinx. The company launched in October 2020 and over 6,000 executives and 400 companies are already using the AboveBoard platform. To learn more, visit www.aboveboard.com.


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ADDITIONAL QUOTES FROM ABOVEBOARD INVESTORS


Jennifer Ceran participated in the round. She is a long-time technology executive and former CFO of Smartsheet and on Boards of Directors including NerdWallet, Klaviyo, and Wyze. “McKinsey research has proven that gender diverse companies are 15% more likely to have a financial performance above the industry mean. Today, companies recognize the genuine value in diversifying their boardrooms and executive suites. AboveBoard has a unique opportunity to help them do it.”


Farah Ali is an active angel investor and joined the round after experiencing the AboveBoard platform as a member. “When you engage in the process of building teams and boards, it is immediately obvious that there must be a better way. When I joined AboveBoard I saw that better way, and reached out to invest.”


Jonathan Mildenhall is both on the company’s board of directors and an investor in this round of financing. “When Lucinda first shared her vision with me, long before the platform was in-market, it was clear that the motivation, the solution, and the people around the table were meeting the moment in a rare way. Everyone involved at every level is committed to the company’s mission.”