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Empowering organizations to lead on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging
Company: Kanarys is a technology company focused on providing the tools organizations need to create long-term systemic change around diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) challenges. Working alongside mid-size enterprises and Fortune 500 companies, Kanarys transforms DEIB work with data by providing the framework, benchmarking, and solutions companies need to incorporate best-in-class DEIB into every area of the organization. Like a canary in the coal mine, Kanarys helps organizations ensure healthy work environments by revealing DEIB blindspots before they become a problem.
HQ Location & Year Founded: Dallas, 2018
Founder: Mandy Price is an advocate for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) as the CEO and co-founder of Kanarys, Inc., a technology company focused
on providing the tools organizations need to create long-term systemic change around DEIB challenges. In 2018, Mandy and her co-founders started Kanarys because they
knew that data could help solve DEIB issues and inequities. Mandy earned her Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin. She resides in Dallas with her husband and two children.
Funds Raised and VC Investors: $10.5M to date - Kanarys recently closed its landmark $5M Series A round in February 2023. The round was led by Seyen Capital, and also included Portfolia Rising America, Rackhouse Venture Capital, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, StartFast Ventures, TechNexus Venture Collaborative, and Tech Square Ventures.
Where did the idea for Kanarys originate?
My co-founders and I started Kanarys in 2018 because we knew the untapped potential of data insights could help address DEIB issues. Given our experiences, we were driven to build a technology platform to solve the inequities for employees and companies everywhere. Even at well-meaning companies, we observed not only a breakdown in communications but also an inability to benchmark and make meaningful impact. Our motivation to create Kanarys stemmed from the direct experiences of inequities that my co-founders and I faced both in the workplace and throughout our lives. We shared many of the same experiences – things many other Black folks have also encountered.
I remember being called the “diverse partner” by a colleague and being asked if I had gotten into Harvard legitimately, which not only made me feel undervalued but certainly undermined any sense of belonging. Instances like this told me I needed to create change and work toward a better future for my children and others. I knew I had to do something about this and help workplaces examine the way they do things at a foundational level.
What is the key problem that Kanarys intends to solve?
Companies have been doing DEIB work for 30+ years, and yet — troublingly — very few have been able to quantify what has worked from a DEIB practices perspective. Kanarys solves this problem with a technology platform that provides the framework, benchmarking, and data companies need to incorporate DEIB into every area of the organization, so they can track and measure its impact on their business outcomes in order to create inclusive and equitable workplace cultures.
Kanarys serves as the “canary in the coal mine” for the DEIB issues confronting an organization. By detecting potential issues early, we allow companies to be proactive instead of reactive with their DEIB efforts. What sets Kanarys apart is our Equity Innovation Solution, which reveals where companies should focus, how to move the needle, and what impact they can expect. This solution ensures a data-driven approach to DEIB challenges, pinpointing DEIB blindspots in areas like talent acquisition, retention, performance reviews, and pay practices, and enabling companies to take targeted immediate action. The resulting DEIB interventions and programs are precise, measurable, and result in systemic transformation.
How are you most differentiated as a service?
Unlike single-solution vendors, Kanarys provides a unified data-driven platform that enables best-in-class DEIB practices with accountability across the organization and with a company’s distributed workforce. Kanarys combines AI-driven analytics with the real-world experience of DEIB strategists. By providing the framework, benchmarking, and data needed to create a climate of engagement and inclusivity, we ensure organizations have the tools to bring value and address the needs of their various stakeholders, including employees and those in underrepresented communities.
What are the company’s key accomplishments to date?
Despite the challenges many Black and female entrepreneurs face raising VC, we recently closed our landmark $5M Series A round in February 2023, which brought our total amount raised to $10.5M to date. We’ve become a category industry leader in DEIB that serves major customers like Yum! Brands, Silicon Labs, the Chuck E. Cheese Corporation, 7-Eleven, and several Fortune 500 companies, along with establishing strategic partnerships with leading national advocacy groups like Prospanica and the National Urban League. We’ve seen tremendous revenue and logo growth since Kanarys’ inception, revealing that companies are seeking out sustainable, data driven DEIB solutions. To accommodate this growth, the Kanarys team has expanded to a full team of 30 and growing.
Additionally, to advance our mission, last year, we formed several strategic partnerships, which allow us to expand our reach and influence workplaces across the country. For example, we forged a partnership with HubSspot, and HubSpot invested in Kanarys' platform through HubSpot Ventures, while Kanarys will help HubSpot's 135,000 customers improve DEIB in their workplaces.
In October 2021, along with Prospanica – a national association of Hispanic MBAs and business professionals, we released the results of the first-ever 2021 Prospanica Workplace Inclusion & Equity Report. The report revealed valuable data and insights on Latinx professionals’ experience with discrimination and bias, inclusion, freedom of expression, pay compensation, and more, along with their sentiment around workplace DEIB.
We also worked with key Chambers of Commerce, like the Metro Atlanta Chamber and Dallas Regional Chamber, to conduct DEIB assessments of their members in order to benchmark DEIB across the Metro Atlanta and North Texas regions respectively. Through these partnerships, we are helping uncover how these groups can propel DEIB forward using data to create a lasting impact in corporate workplaces across the country.
Lastly, Kanarys has also participated in several accelerator programs including the Google for Startups Black Founders Accelerator, Google’s Black+Tech Amplify program, Unreasonable FUTURE of Work program, Morgan Stanley Multicultural Innovation Lab, Morrison and Foerster Black Venture Accelerator, and Hennessy’s Never Stop Never Settle Society.
What lies ahead in the plans for Kanarys?
DEIB isn’t just a U.S. issue - it’s a global issue. Except, how these issues present themselves in different areas around the world varies. The idea that certain groups are being oppressed and marginalized is always the same, but the ethnic groups and religions might be different. Through our work with company partners, many of which are global companies, we know they value the importance of DEIB across their entire organization which extends beyond their U.S. workforce.
With Kanarys, our next step is to grow and scale our technology so that it can be implemented at every company around the world. We are increasing our capacity from a global perspective for the future so that we are able to better analyze the workforce and better understand DEIB globally.
While it has taken far too long, enterprises across size, sector, and geography, are recognizing the vital importance of DEI in the workplace, not just as a matter of social justice, but of being able to compete through the benefits of a diverse workforce. What has been missing for many organizations is the ability to leverage data and analytics to make the best judgements on hiring, retaining, and cultivating talent. Kanarys offers a new platform that will help enable change and remove barriers to implementation and progress. Mandy Price is a dynamic founder who will continue to spearhead organizational equity and inclusion for the benefit of employees, customers, and shareholders.