- Elpha, a Y Combinator-backed social and professional network for women in tech, announced it raised $1.1 million from a strong group of investors.
Elpha, a Y Combinator graduate company that has built a network for women in tech, announced it has raised $1.1 million in a seed round of funding according to TechCrunch. The $1.1 million funding round was provided by Y Combinator along with the accelerator’s respective co-founder, CEO, and president Jessica Livingston, Michael Seibel, and Geoff Ralston. Maveron, Moxxie Ventures, JaneVC, Friale, Kabam co-founder and visiting YC partner Holly Liu, Block Party founder Tracy Chou, and Breaker co-founder Leah Culver also joined the round
How does Elpha work? Elpha is a social and professional network for women in technology to communicate through public forums and direct messages. Elpha generates revenue by charging $12,000 in annual subscription fees to companies that use Elpha for identitying potential hires. Currently, Elpha has 20 paying customers such as Lambda School and Webflow.
Cadran Cowansage, CEO and co-founder of Elpha, used to be a software engineer at Y Combinator between 2016 and 2019. While working at Y Combinator, Cowansage built a tool called Leap — which enabled her to communicate with colleagues. After testing out the product for a while, Cowansage granted the network of Y Combinator female founders with access to Leap. Earlier this year, Cowansage relaunched the platform under the name Elpha. Former designer for Etsy and Cockroach Labs Kuan Luo is also a co-founder at Elpha.
“I had the idea for a long time,” said Cowansage in an interview with TechCrunch. “I didn’t feel like I really had a big enough network of women who were at my level or a bit further along than I could go to for advice. Things like how do I get this promotion? Or my male peers, they are being paid more than me, what do I do about that? The conversations that are difficult that you really want a woman’s perspective on.”
With this round of funding, Elpha plans to hire, host events, and develop new products such as a mobile app.
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