Loris.ai fetches $2 mln seed

Loris.ai, a data-driven platform that helps companies navigate hard conversations, has secured $2 million in seed funding. Ann Miura-Ko of Floodgate led the round with participation from other investors that included Jeff Weiner and Kapor Capital.


Startup enterprise company Loris.ai utilizes a data-driven approach to help companies navigate hard conversations. Founder Nancy Lublin will announce from the stage at MAKERS that Loris.ai closed on $2 million in seed financing last week. The round was led by Ann Miura-Ko of Floodgate with Jeff Weiner, Kapor Capital, and a handful of other top Silicon Valley investors and business leaders piling in.

Proprietary edge
Loris.ai is a spin-out from Crisis Text Line which has trained over 12,000 Crisis Counselors and processed more than 60 million messages. In addition to that volume, consider that Crisis Text Line has an 86% approval rating from users- which is especially impressive given the severity of the content. Simply, the organization knows how to handle hard conversations. The intelligence gleaned from both the Crisis Text Line training and large sentiment-rich data corpus will be leveraged to create Loris.ai enterprise software.

“We’re using the learnings from Crisis Text Line to help humans become better humans,” said serial entrepreneur Nancy Lublin who will serve as CEO of both entities. “By layering machine learning on top of the Crisis Text Line data corpus, we’ve learned surprising things about word choices, sentence structure, and tone.”

Important idea
“We thoughtfully design so many things — clothing, software, cellphones — and yet take for granted how we design the literal fuel for all of the things we build — conversations. Conversations don’t happen when we are just talking about easy things. The fire that tests and tempers our relationships happens when we disagree or when we need to tell someone something they won’t want to hear,” says Ann Miura-Ko of Floodgate, who is leading the round.

“It’s exciting to see Nancy and the Loris.ai team focused on such an essential, yet underserved segment of the development marketplace — teaching the building blocks that enable companies and their employees to manage all of their stakeholders with greater compassion,” says Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIN.

Now more than ever
“The timing has never been more critical for Loris.ai. The most engaging, profitable, and innovative companies are made up of people from different backgrounds. Diverse workplaces have specific communications needs,” said Freada Kapor Klein, partner at Kapor Capital.

“People don’t always understand that their well-intended words might actually have a different impact. Loris.ai is a step toward bringing empathy, communications skills, and understanding of different cultural contexts to the workplace.”

We’ve heard from many companies who value compassion, empathy, and the ability to navigate hard conversations. Our plan is to interview ~50 companies and invite a handful into the beta.

“Investing in your company’s culture and employee experience has never been more important. At WeWork, we’ve shown that by focusing on and investing in building a culture that is rooted in the power of community, we can have a positive impact on all aspects of the employee experience — regardless of where that individual sits within the organization. Loris.ai has a unique vision that will help companies achieve their missions through empathy, authenticity, and engagement. They have unrivaled experience and expertise in training people, which will help the companies to achieve their missions. We’re thrilled to be a part of their seed round,” said Miguel McKelvey, WeWork Co-Founder and Chief Culture Officer.

Top investors
Floodgate leads a round chock full of strong Silicon Valley funds and boldface names. In addition to Floodgate, Kapor Capital, Omidyar Network, Homebrew, Precursor Ventures, City Light Capital, and WeWork contributed to the round alongside iconic business leaders Jeff Weiner, Dan Levitan, and Selina Tobaccowala.

“Rarely do we encounter a founder who has multiple experiences in inspiring thousands of people to action by sheer force of will and power of narrative. Nancy Lublin is the founder and former CEO of Dress for Success, DoSomething.org, and Crisis Text Line. Nancy is a Prime Mover,” says Ann Miura-Ko.

Social purpose
While Lublin will serve as the Founder and CEO, the founder’s equity was granted to Crisis Text Line. This structure allows Loris.ai access to the Crisis Text Line learnings and creates a long term sustainability path for the charity- because when Loris.ai succeeds financially, Crisis Text Line wins too.

For more information on Loris.ai or to nominate a company for consideration as a Founding Partner, see Loris.ai