Mixtroz is a Black, female-owned startup company that created an app for networking and events to foster connections. The app connects people with similar backgrounds and interests, such as working professionals, job seekers, students, and others.
Founded in 2014 by a mother-daughter duo, Kerry Schrader and Ashlee Ammons started the business without a background in technology. Despite this, the women have become the 37th and 38th Black females to raise more than $1 million in pre-seed funding in the United States (US).
The app allows users to create their own custom events with their own branding. From this, users can add their questions and ice breakers based on what they want to learn. Users can then join the “mix,” which eventually assigns people to groups based on preferences for a curated networking session. Mixtroz collects individual and group data to gain a deeper understanding of attendees before, during, and after an event.
The startup company claims it has connected people from Target, Amazon, TED, Deloitte, and more.
The business announced it raised $1 million in seed funding led by Black Star Fund, a venture capital fund that primarily invests in early-stage innovation companies led by Black technology and innovation leaders. Backstage Capital’s Arlan Was Here Fund, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Birmingham’s Timberline Holdings, and Harmony Venture Labs also participated in this financing round.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many industries like events and networking events suffered. However, the startup company was able to pivot from live, in-person events to virtual networking sessions due to changing market demands. As a result, the app officially launched in April 2020.
Ashlee Ammons, co-founder and president of the app company, said in a statement to Startup Savant, “Securing funding is based not only on the strength of your product but the strength of your network and we’ve been building relationships with our new investment partners at Black Star Fund and Backstage Capital for years...We believe they are the perfect partners to help as we continue to expand and grow our business, technology, and client base nationally.”
With the new capital, the startup company plans to grow its team, further product development, and establish a national footprint in this space. In addition, Mixtroz plans to unveil a new, re-imagined platform this year that demonstrates key learnings from a fully virtual year. The release date for the startup company’s new events platform has not yet been disclosed.
Mixtroz previously raised $1 million in pre-seed funding in 2018.
This seed funding comes a few months after Ammons received a $25,000 grant and 100 days of business resources such as business education, mentorship, virtual networking, marketing, and more. This grant came from American Express as part of their “100 for 100” program that invests in the future of Black women entrepreneurs in the US.
Market Research Future reported the virtual networking market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 34.3% from 2018 to 2023.
About the Author
McKenzie Carpenter is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations and French. McKenzie has previously worked for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.