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Sisters Turned Founders Become The First Black Women In Kansas To Raise $1M In Funding

 

QuickHire, led by sisters Deborah Gladney and Angela Muhwezi-Hall, broke barriers becoming the first Black women in Kansas to raise over $1 million in funding.

In a seed round led by MATH Venture Partners, the career development platform raised $1.41 million. Sandalphon Capital (Chicago), KCRise Fund (Kansas City), October Minority Impact Fund (Kansas City), Tenzing Capital Ventures (Wichita), Accelerate Venture Partners (Wichita), Sixty8 Capital (Indianapolis), Ruthless for Good (New Orleans), Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund (D.C.) and [email protected] (Boston) also participated in the round.

Gladney told AfroTech exclusively that it’s easy for investors to focus on what makes a Black startup different. However, they felt it was important to seek out synergies with investors who focused on what brings them together. Doing so brought their search to investors in the Midwest region and venture capital firms who have shown support for minority and underserved founders.

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The ideation of QuickHire began as early as 2017, during Muhwezi-Hall’s time serving as a career and educational advisor at Volunteers of America. While working at the nonprofit, she was greeted by a student who had various paper applications from potential career opportunities. This moment signaled that times in the blue-collar service industry have not changed. Then her and her sister Gladney both became heavily involved in searching for a solution to aid in the career development of non-college students. Their idea would catalyze in 2020, due to the pandemic, which permanently shifted the workforce industry.

“People in the blue-collar industry have faced decades of neglect and career stifling and unfair pay. It took a global pandemic for everybody else to realize it when people didn’t want to leave their house or when they needed people to deliver their groceries. Blue-collar workers kept the wheels turning and made it even more clear these type of roles that are the backbone of this country,“  Gladney told AfroTech.

She continued: “It’s a threat to our economy if we don’t have the talent who are looking for these jobs so we want to connect people to the right jobs within this economy of the workforce and help them continue to progress.”

Putting their pen to paper, they would soon launch QuickHire in April 2021 to target the retail, restaurant and hospitality industries. Since its inception, the career development platform has scaled upward at an impressive rate. As of today, they house over 60 paying clients, which range from Fuzzy’s Taco Shop to Homewood Suites by Hilton, servicing nearly 12,000 job seekers.

With the new funding, the company plans to expand throughout Wichita, Kansas — adding skill-labor verticals beginning in 2022 — and improve its technologies to secure larger clients. They have already begun advancing their technologies and automation this week with the launch of QuickHiring Scheduling, allowing their users to automatically schedule their in-person interviews to alleviate wait times or being ghosted by potential employers.

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Written by PH

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