Musicians the world over miss out on over $1B a year in royalties because there has historically been no single, secure way to track their contributions to music. As a young minority musician and music producer in Memphis, TN, Gebre Waddell was well aware of this towering problem and, notably, its impact on other minority musicians. He set out to provide a solution by founding our portfolio company Sound Credit, a platform that ensures all artists get the credit - and royalties - they deserve.
Sound Credit is just one example from the Bee Partners’ portfolio of how diversity makes for strong portfolio companies. We know firsthand that healthy entrepreneurial ecosystems thrive on diversity, inclusion, and equity. We recognize, value, and foster differences and a breadth of world views in our community and ensure that these characteristics inform our decision-making processes so those too are equitable and inclusive.
We steadily focus on creating opportunities for underrepresented minorities to join the Bee Partners community. Since we last shared our data, we’ve continued on the path of building a richly diverse portfolio. Significantly, we have doubled the number of Black and Latinx founders in the Bee Partners III portfolio: they now make up a fifth of the companies invested in from that fund.
The makeup of our portfolio, as of June 2023, is as follows:
We are a small and close-knit team with a deep commitment to our DEI principles. Partner Tim Smith and Principal Kira Noodleman especially make meaningful efforts to increase the number of women and minorities in the Bee community, Tim through his active participation in the National Black MBA Association, and Kira through Berkeley SkyDeck’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee, multiple groups supporting both female and minority founders and her involvement in groups for women in venture capital.
In addition to actively seeking and supporting those from often marginalized groups to join our portfolio, we also encourage our portfolio companies to offer safe, healthy business environments for people of all races, ethnicities, abilities and gender identities, while encouraging our broader network to do the same.
Why does Bee Partners care about DEI?
While we are proud that our statistics regarding female founders and underrepresented founders are well above the Venture Capital industry averages, we also acknowledge that we still have a long way to go.
We know this effort will be a work in progress, but want to share our efforts and the steps we are continuing to take on all three fronts to build a better future for us all.
We believe that our collective similarities and differences, in all the ways in which people differ, and all the characteristics that make one individual or group distinct from another make us all better. Our actions around diversity, include, but are not limited to:
We believe in recognizing the unique needs of each individual and the importance of ensuring that all can access the same opportunities with differentiated support, removing the predictability of success or failure that is correlated with any financial, social, or cultural factor used to marginalize or oppress individuals or groups. Our actions around equity include, but are not limited to:
We believe in creating spaces that are safe and welcoming for all, with particular care for those who have been traditionally marginalized, such as people of color, women, LGBTQIA+ folx, people with disabilities, religious minorities, and those from low-income backgrounds. Our actions around inclusion include, but are not limited to:
Help Us Expand Our Networks
We’re always looking to connect with traditionally underrepresented founders. We also welcome introductions to traditionally underrepresented service providers we can vet for the Bee Bench. Please connect with us by any of our emails, or send a note to email@example.com.