Workday Ventures: Investing in Companies That Help All People Access Opportunities

At this week’s All Raise VC Summit 2020, female/non-binary investors are gathering virtually to discuss how to create a more equitable future for all. Betsy Bland, vice president and managing director of Workday Ventures, shares how our portfolio companies are helping to elevate people and reduce barriers to opportunity.

The All Raise VC Summit 2020 kicks off Oct. 27, and I look forward to the conversations it’ll foster on how we can all work together to create a more equitable future. I especially applaud the conference themes of being a catalyst for change and the power of a movement, which aligns with what Workday Ventures is all about: to invest in companies that create opportunities for all. 

Our responsibility across the industry to create opportunities for all becomes more acute as we reflect on the past year and the importance of the conference themes. The COVID-19 pandemic set off disruptive changes for workers across all industries. In addition, social and racial justice have taken center stage as we acknowledge the important work we have to do to support more diverse workforces, communities, and opportunities. 

Backing Investments for Change

At Workday Ventures, we invest in early stage companies, many of which are building businesses that help workers at all levels access opportunities. One frequent goal is to help every worker be their best selves in their careers and elsewhere.

One of our newest investments, Jobcase, is a good example. Jobcase is a social media platform built to empower workers—particularly the 80% who are hourly workers or tradespeople, may not have a college degree, or may change jobs frequently. With more than 110 million registered users, the popular social platform provides tools to help people access job opportunities, build resumes and online profiles, connect with others to share experience, and enable companies to expand their brand reach to target this large community of active and passive job candidates. 

Other Workday Ventures companies have been in our portfolio for longer, and also help elevate people and reduce barriers to opportunity. 

Pymetrics, for instance, uses behavioral science and artificial intelligence to identify a job seeker’s true potential, and eliminate the bias in hiring. Guild Education works with leading companies to make education and learning a part of their corporate strategy and prepare their employees for the future of work. Landit is a career development platform designed to increase the workplace success of women and diverse groups. BetterUp offers hyper-personalized and mobile 1:1 coaching that allows employees at all levels to easily access professional coaching to help them be their best selves in and outside of work. Vida Health brings together advanced technology and a nationwide network of therapists, coaches, dietitians, and certified diabetes educators to address physical health conditions and the mental health conditions that accompany them. 

As well stated by Lisa Skeete Tatum, founder and CEO of Landit, “The future of work is focusing on unlocking the potential of each individual by investing in their personal success.”

At Workday Ventures, we invest in early stage companies, many of which are building businesses that help workers at all levels access opportunities.

Unlocking Opportunity 

To even begin to unlock the potential of each individual, an inclusive environment is needed. To strive for diverse and inclusive workplaces and societies has become a moral imperative. And All Raise is a leader in creating more diversity and inclusion in the venture capital community.

All Raise focuses on securing more funding for women entrepreneurs, which is sorely needed given that just 12% of U.S. venture capital funding goes to teams with female founders. If more capital goes to more female founders, there’s more chance of other women seizing the opportunity to launch their own companies, too. In that way, venture capital is exactly the kind of catalyst that empowers positive movement for change, which the All Raise conference themes address.

I’m also heartened to see entrepreneurs of all kinds increasingly seek diverse representation across their investors and board members. They know that diversity and inclusion, in addition to being the right thing to do, also drives innovation. And, they value the varied experience that comes with having diverse teams. One of the best parts of my job is meeting startup founders who are excited to see the number of women at Workday Ventures. Five of our seven team members are women. Also, almost half of our current portfolio companies were founded or are led by women. 

I know that the All Raise VC Summit will be a catalyst for change all on its own. Workday Ventures is proud to be an ally in its mission, and to continue to pursue our own mission to drive more opportunities for more people.

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