June 28, 2022

Edlyft Takes Aim At The $100M Diversity And Inclusion Tech Market

Edlyft is taking the $100 million diversity and inclusion tech market by storm.

The edtech startup, founded by longtime friends Erika Hairston and Arnelle Ansong in 2020, provides support for college students and adult learners in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) courses.

Their mission is to provide the right environment and tools for the next generation of engineers to succeed and, hopefully, get one step closer to closing the gender gap in STEM.

Their digital platform connects learners to inclusive mentorship, online group tutoring, live and recorded sessions, and personalized study tools, equipping students with the resources needed to succeed in their classes and secure high-paying jobs.

Edlyft is designed to get students through tough computer science courses and into high-paying jobs. We work with students early in their college journeys, equipping them to succeed in their classes and job search.

In 2020, Hairston and Ansong became two of the youngest Black women to raise over $1 million in seed funding from investors, including Kleiner Perkins, Y Combinator, Kapor Capital, Village Global VC, January Ventures, and Backstage Capital, to name a few, as well as some prominent angel investors such as Jeff Weiner.

This is a big deal because, in the US tech sector, 62% of jobs are held by white Americans. While Black Americans hold 7% of tech jobs, Latinx Americans hold 8% of tech jobs, and Asian Americans hold 20% of tech jobs. 

“We expected fundraising to be difficult because Black women raise less than 1% of venture funding. We knew that we had to work twice as hard to get half as much,” Hairston told Forbes.

She and Ansong persevered because they knew how great the need was for their platform Edlyft to increase diverse hiring across the sector.

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Abbianca Makoni

Abbianca Makoni is a content executive and writer at POCIT! She has years of experience reporting on critical issues affecting diverse communities around the globe.