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Black Women Founders Raise $4.25M For Workplace Software Firm Five to Nine

Events management software company Five to Nine has raised $4.25 million in venture capital. TechCrunch reported earlier this month that the company owned by Jasmine Shells and Denise Umubyeyi closed in one of the largest fundraising seed rounds by Black Ops Ventures.

Jasmine Shells and Denise Umubyeyi (L-R) / Photo: Five to Nine

Founded in 2018, Five to Nine is software that helps streamline workplace practices. Instead of having information, such as meeting information and events scattered on several different platforms, Five to Nine puts everything on one place. The company’s management software integrates such workplace tools as Slack, Outlook, and Workday.

“Five to Nine was born out of my own unmet need in running an ERG (employee resource group) without the proper infrastructure,” said Shells in a press release.

“We were using everything from email to Survey Monkey to our chats to put together event programs, hacking together four to five tools to get the job done,” Shells told TechCrunch.

Shells found the process inefficient. She wanted a streamlined process where all the information would be pooled in one location (or platform). So she and Umubyeyi came up with a solution.

Five to Nine also offers attendance and feedback analytics for ERG events. Employee resource group (or ERGs) are voluntary, employee-led groups from one company formed to encourage diverse, inclusive workplaces.

Per the company’s website, team members became “frustrated with the mediocre initiatives that existed in our organizations” in previous roles. Their clientele includes major brands and companies such as Expedia, Yahoo, Upwork. 

Shells and Umubyeyi are among the growing number of Black women who have raised over $1 million in venture capital funds, including Honey Pot’s Beatrice Dixon. In 2021,  Business Insider reported that less than 200 Black women have raised $1 million or more in venture-capital funds. Their data names Savage x Fenty creator Rihanna, who secured $115 million, along with 48 other Black women founders.

Pitchbook data also indicated that companies founded solely by women raised nearly $6.4 billion in venture capital in 2021 —  83 percent higher than the total raised in 2020.

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