Greenwood, Inc. Acquires Valence to Provide Professional Development and Job Recruiting for the Black Community
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Greenwood, Inc. Acquires Valence to Provide Professional Development and Job Recruiting for the Black Community

Diverse Representation
Diverse Representation will host its second annual Black Entertainment Executives Pipeline program set to run from July 11-August 16, 2022. (Image: iStock/kupicoo)

Greenwood, the digital banking platform for Black and Latino individuals and business owners, has announced the acquisition of Valence, the leading platform that connects, showcases, and empowers the Black professional community through their recruitment and professional development products. This acquisition will grow the Valence Pipeline recruiting database by nearly one million Black professionals, making it easier for recruiters who use this service to diversify their workforces at every level, from early career to c-suite.

Valence was founded in 2019 by Kobie Fuller, chairman of Valence and general partner at Upfront
Ventures, and also Emily Slade and LaMer Walker to create a centralized community network of
Black professionals and easily create a pipeline for companies to find outstanding Black talent.
Valence plays a key role in connecting the innovation economy to the Black community and
specifically addressing the lack of diversity in leadership in high paying industries such as finance
and technology. Valence has raised over $7 million from investors such as GGV Capital, Upfront
Ventures, and Maveron.

“We’re being very targeted in how we can drive economic opportunity and wealth creation in the
Black community,” said Mr. Fuller.

“Joining with Greenwood is a commitment to our community and accelerates our mission towards creating new paths to success for Black professionals and fuels our efforts towards closing the racial wealth gap.”

“Emerging Black leaders continue to face enormous challenges navigating career development and
advancement, while companies and leadership struggle to attract and retain Black talent in their
executive ranks,” said Guy Primus, chief executive officer of Valence.

“Valence provides a platform for executives, employers and Black business leaders to take meaningful steps to accelerate Black representation in the C-suite and drive positive change in corporate America.”

As a result of this acquisition, Mr. Fuller will join the advisory board of Greenwood. Mr. Primus will
continue in the role as chief executive officer of Valence, in addition to being named as vice president of Greenwood.

Valence offers two specific products that help with professional development and career growth.

– Pipeline recruiting database: Pipeline is Valence’s recruiting database, a central hub for
Black talent available to corporate recruiters looking to diversify their workforce at all levels
including the c-suite. Over 400 corporations have partnered with Valence to source and
recruit diverse talent.

– BONDS professional development: BONDS is Valence’s professional development
program for emerging Black leaders, designed for Black professionals with five to 15 years of
work experience. Through coaching, community, and curriculum, BONDS allows members to
unlock their full potential and set them on the path to realizing their goals. By partnering with
Valence’s BONDS, companies show their dedication to supporting the growth and
development of Black talent.

In addition to these products, in 2020 Valence launched a new initiative called the Valence Funding
Network to link Black entrepreneurs with top partners at firms including Accel, Sequoia, GGV, First
Round Capital, Bessemer Ventures, Greylock, and Upfront Ventures. Through the initiative, Black
founders and future founders have the opportunity to connect with general partners of the firm for
mentorship and coaching.

This announcement follows Greenwood’s recent acquisition of The Gathering Spot, a private
membership network focused on the Black community. Together the combined conglomerate of
Greenwood Inc., includes Greenwood, The Gathering Spot and Valence, all with a shared mission
and vision of closing the racial wealth gap and providing the tools and education needed to empower
the Black community to build generational wealth.

“This is a powerful moment in Black business history where we are combining the three of the
strongest communities focused on Black professionals and their career and financial needs,” said
Ryan Glover, co-founder and chairman at Greenwood.

“Adding the Valence platform to the benefits of Greenwood membership means we are supporting, educating, and through Pipeline, we are connecting Black professionals directly to the opportunities they need to build generational wealth. By working together, we are laying the foundation for the future success of Black people for years to come.”

“Combining our financial content with the professional advice and support Valence provides means
that Greenwood members will have an unbeatable set of tools in their tool kit,” said Ryan Wilson,
chief of community for Greenwood and co-founder/chief executive officer of The Gathering Spot.

“The quality and functionality of the Valence platform brings a new level of access and professional options to the one million members of our ambitious community and it gives recruiters access to nearly a million Black professionals.”

To learn more and join the Greenwood and Valence community, visit https://BankGreenwood.com/Valence.


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