Bitwise Industries raised its largest ever funding round, the highest ever for a Latina-female owned company.
The startup raised $27 million in Series A funding, led by Kapor Capital and New Voices Fund. Joining this funding round are the Quality Jobs Fund.
Kapor and New Voices joins a growing list of investors including Motley Fool Ventures, Lumina Foundation, Libra Foundation and Pi Investments Innovation (both investments facilitated by Candide Group), Acumen America, Plum Alley, Aera VC, GingerBread Capital, Arlan Hamilton’s joint venture with Mark Cuban, Kat Taylor, Morgan Simon, Derrick Morgan and Reach Capital, among others.
“Fundraising milestones like these are monumental for women of the Latinx community, and I hope the size of what we’ve done is soon eclipsed by the next female or person of color,” said Irma L. Olguin Jr., CEO and co-founder of Bitwise Industires, in a statement. ” This country is filled with stories similar to mine – people from underserved communities, who never thou thought these kinds of opportunities would be accessible to them.”
Adds Richelieu Dennis, founder of the New Voices Fund, “Sourcing talent from traditionally overlooked and undervalued pools is one of the most effective strategies for companies to remain competitive as the demand for innovative technology solutions accelerates and the expectations for enhanced revenue, performance, and brand trust increase. We’ve chosen to invest in Bitwise as one of the only private entities approaching the realities of the economy, technology and marginalized communities with a successful, repeatable business model that supports all three areas – and one that we look forward to determining how to scale.”
Bitwise, based out of Fresno, CA., has produced more than 1,000 new software developers, attracted over 200 technology companies to its facilities, contributed to the creation of thousands of jobs in the region, and turned 250,000 sq. ft of previously blighted downtown buildings into desirable commercial real estate. Bitwise plans to use the new funding to continue its growth in Fresno and expand to other cities, beginning with Bakersfield, Calif.
“This investment will further Bitwise’s ability to make what was serendipity in my life far more common,” said Olguin Jr. “By connecting people from marginalized places to the skills they need to enter the technology industry, and by surrounding them with vibrant and inclusive spaces, we will transform communities.”
Bitwise Industries, which provides a home for tech oriented creators to grow their skills and find employment, was launched in 2013.
Photo: Bitwise Industries founder, Irma L. Olguin Jr., CEO and co-founder of Bitwise Industires. Credit: Bitwise Industries.