Diversity, equity and inclusion startup Roots Inspire has raised a seed funding round to expand its services across the UK and continental Europe.

Roots Inspire was founded in 2020 by former corporate banking leader Sergio Panday and supply chain and operations leader Melvin Spalburg following the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The online platform, which connects ethnic corporate leaders from various organisations to up-and-coming leadership talent, utilises modern technology to provide guidance on the unwritten rules of corporate life and creates pathways for the next wave of proud and authentic leaders.

It helps organisations realise diversity goals by attracting, retaining and advancing ethnically diverse leadership talent. 

Among Roots Inspire’s clients are ABN AMRO, Boots, CBRE GWS, Freshfields, Oliver Wyman, Rabobank and Unilever.

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“It is exhilarating to see our community’s enthusiasm and the positive impact we make on those who partake in our programme. I am excited about this next step in our journey as this allows us to expand the scale of our impact even further,” said chairman Spalburg.

The investment round was led by Narwhal Investments, a Dutch seed fund focused on European startups. 

“We have used the past years to create the foundation for a scalable solution that can move the needle and break the vicious cycle of underrepresentation in corporate leadership,” said CEO Panday.

“I am extremely proud and excited to now move into the next phase of execution.”

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