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AI business support platform Alice lands new investors, including Serena Williams fund, Bumble dating app

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Serena Ventures joined the series A funding round for Alice, a free, artificial intelligence-driven platform founders say “helps businesses launch and grow.”

The company announced Friday also participating was dating app Bumble, founded by Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe Herd, and the venture firm founded by tennis star Serena Williams as investors. The announcement stated the move “will facilitate the expansion of Alice’s machine learning capabilities” to gather resources which are tailored to where a business is in its growth.

Leading the latest series A financing round was SVB Financial Group, Silicon Valley Bank’s holding company. Also funding the startup were Cathie Reid, Jean Case, Phyllis Newhouse, Shatter Fund and Signia Venture Partners. Amounts are not disclosed.

“Having business leaders like Serena Williams and Whitney Wolfe Herd as part owners in Alice has created a dream team of savvy investors,” said Elizabeth Gore, president and chairwoman of Alice and wife of Sonoma County Supervisor James Gore. “We see our partnership as an extension of the work Serena and Bumble have already done to advance women and New Majority owners in business, and we are thrilled to welcome their perspectives and input as we expand our reach into local business communities and bring forward business for all in 2020

Gore co-founded the company along with Carolyn Rodz.

The Bumble CEO stated that becoming an investor in Alice was a good fit.

“At the end of the day, we work to give women the tools they need to make the first move, and investing in Alice’s platform – geared towards uplifting women and other underrepresented small business owners – is a great way for us to continue to get more involved in our local communities and ultimately help create positive change in the broader business community,” Wolfe Herd said.

In the announcement, Williams said Alice connects "business owners to resources important for their individual industry growth."

"As an investor in the company, we are working to ensure that women, people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, and all underrepresented groups in business are given equal access to funding, networking, and services that are vital to success,” Williams said.

Alice also announced it would provide a financial grant and mentorship to one small business owner who applies at helloalice.com.

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