Today, I’m excited to share with you an announcement that affects not just CMX, but I think is a signal of where the community industry is going as a whole.
This year has only solidified the fact that businesses are waking up to community. It’s increasingly clear that community will power the most successful companies, allowing them to create authentic and meaningful connections while unlocking unprecedented scale.
It’s one thing to say that. I’ve been saying that for over 10 years! But it’s another thing to put real money behind it.
We’re excited to announce that our team at CMX and Bevy has raised $40 million in Series C funding. What’s special about this round? Well for starters, it’s one of the largest funding rounds I’ve seen for a community platform in a long time. That sends a serious signal about the value of community-powered business.
But the investment numbers aren’t nearly exciting as WHO the investors are that have signed on to our vision for community.
In addition to returning investors like Accel, one of Silicon Valley’s top venture funds, former CMX Summit speaker Ryan Smith, CEO of Qualtrics, and Upfront Ventures, we’ve added 40 new investors to this round.
70% of individuals participating in the funding round — representing 20% of the total funds raised — are Black investors, including nationally recognized diversity and inclusion pioneer James Lowry; current Facebook board member and PayPal EVP, Peggy Alford; and former Beats by Dre CMO Omar Johnson, alongside many more renowned Black leaders.
Also extremely exciting is that the round includes long-time members of the CMX community like Erica Kuhl, Holly Firestone, Shana Sumers, Phin Mpofu, Tina Roth Eisenberg, Arlan Hamilton, Courtland Allen, and Laura Nestler.
This impressive group of diverse leaders will help us shape the future, and make community the most transformative strategy of the next decade.
What does this mean for CMX ?
It’s been less than a year since we announced Bevy’s Series B funding in May 2020 and launched new tools for virtual events and conferences. Since then, our research found that the coronavirus pandemic only accelerated investment in community.
This funding validates the mission of Bevy and CMX, and the work that our community members do every day. Like last year, this doesn’t change anything about our mission. Helping community professionals thrive and advancing the community industry will continue to be CMX’s number one priority.
This funding means our team will have even more resources to build CMX into the best community for community professionals. Here’s just a taste of what we plan to do:
- Roll out more and higher quality education, certification, and training programs
- Conducting more research into industry benchmarks and best practices
- Rebuilding our website to make our massive library of free content more accessible and easier to find
- Working with DEI experts to continue to improve how we can build a truly welcoming and inclusive community
- Growing our community team to share the load (we’re still just 4 people focused exclusively on CMX!)
- Continue to push ourselves to host more creative and engaging virtual, in-person, and hybrid community events
- Host more events in EMEA and around the world
- Oh and of course…new CMX swag!
Bevy and CMX are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. Bevy will be hiring for more than 100 positions over the next year, and we’re committed to having Black employees represent 20% of employees by September 2021. We will continue to invest in diversity, equity, and inclusion to make CMX a space that is safe for everyone. If you’re interested in joining the team, please take a look at our open opportunities here. More opportunities will be posted on the community team soon!
I’ve never been more excited about the community industry than I am today. That was true before this funding. Businesses are finally seeing what our community has been saying all along…that making a serious investment in community has profound effects on your business’ culture, bottom line, and ability to scale.
The era of community-powered business has arrived.