Diverse talent platform Mathison, which aims to connect companies with workers coming from historically underrepresented communities, announced today that it has raised a $2 million seed round led by Animo Ventures.
Mathison, cofounded by Under 30 honoree Arthur Woods, sources its talent from a variety of nonprofit workforce development agencies and professional membership groups and serves as a marketplace where companies can search for specific types of potential employees coming from underrepresented or diverse backgrounds.
According to Woods, when companies tell recruiters to cast a wider net, those recruiters go to LinkedIn and try to guess if someone seems diverse simply by looking at their photo, reading their name, or analyzing the organizations that person is a member of.
“It’s sort of a dangerous game if recruiters are guessing if someone is diverse,” Woods says. “They’re also leaving out a lot of communities that have hidden diversities such as certain disabilities.”
Mathison sources its candidates from a network of partners by establishing 4-year partnerships with a cross section of organizations that serve underrepresented communities. The platform enables individuals to sign up directly and build profiles, and also uses AI to identify candidates from the partner communities and invites them into the system.
When creating a profile on Mathison, users are able to self-identify as well as paste their LinkedIn information.
Companies can then search for talent by filtering through race, sexual orientation, incarceration, disability, refugee or veteran status, as well as by community groups that Mathison found them through (like Girls Who Code or Upwardly Global).
Users can choose to retain their privacy and only release their name and photo after a company has shown interest in them, upon seeing their past professional background and underrepresented group the person belongs to.
“That’s what enables us to safely capture that diversity data and not share it or out anyone who isn’t comfortable,” Woods says.
Mathison generates revenue by companies paying a subscription fee, and a placement fee when Mathison successfully brokers a hire. Mathison then donates a portion of that placement fee back to the community that person came from.
The company currently has over 50 clients, including large enterprise companies like Accenture, Bristol Myers Squibb, Charles Schwab, as well as high-growth startups like Casper and HelloFresh.
Woods says the company has seen a great rise in demand in the last few months, driven largely by huge cultural and societal changes like the Black Lives Matter protests.
“In the last 90 days the world has changed and the appetite for this type of work has exponentially increased,” Woods says. “It probably accelerated the demand for this equivalent to three years of time.”
Prior to cofounding Mathison, Woods cofounded social learning platform Imperative (he exited last year) as well as Out in Tech, one of largest LGBTQ+ community in technology.
Woods met Irish immigrant Dave Walsh through the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and the two officially launched Mathison in May of last year.
“At a moment when inclusion is finally getting widespread attention, we are thrilled that Mathison’s technology can help companies make this important shift toward diversity in a measurable way,” Walsh says in an email.
Mathison, named after British mathematician Alan Turing who decrypted German intelligence correspondence in World War 2, but was ostracized for being homosexual, currently has 15 employees and has doubled in size in the last two months.