Sevetri Wilson’s Resilia Raises $8M, Highest VC Raise By A Female-Founded Tech Firm In Louisiana
New Orleans tech startup Resilia, founded by Sevetri Wilson, has raised $8 million in its Series-A round of funding — the highest VC raised by a female-founded tech firm in Louisiana.
The round was led by Mucker Capital and Callais Capital Management with participation by Cultivation Capital, Black Enterprise reported.
Resilia is a software as a service (SaaS) platform founded by serial entrepreneur Wilson in 2016.
Resilia has offices in New Orleans and New York. The company offers a suite of services for nonprofits to manage and report their finances and for grant-making and philanthropic organizations to find the groups that are working in the areas they want to support, CrunchBase reported.
“We are serving a two-sided market,” Wilson told CrunchBase. “We are providing software solutions from nonprofits…Helping them come online…whether you’re a charter school or healthcare clinic, and from there we have helped nonprofits with their compliance and fundraising and built that into a subscription platform.”
Entrepreneurship isn’t anything new for Wilson. She started her first company, Solid Ground Innovations, with zero capital and built it to a seven-figure enterprise. A public relations firm catering to nonprofit organizations, she opened it soon after she graduated from Louisiana State University back in 2009. Resilia was a Solid Ground spinoff launched four years ago.
“We’re in such a good position,” Wilson said. “Our product was created to capture innovation and (initiate) grants and connect to capital in organizations to have a better understanding of where that money is going and whether or not it’s being wasted.”
William Hsu, co-founder and partner at Mucker Capital, has joined Resilia’s board.
“We spotted Resilia early on, and have been impressed with Sevetri’s leadership and her team’s ability to identify market needs, move quickly, and expand their products to serve the complex needs of grantors and grantees,” Hsu said in a press statement.
Now she’s ready for the next phase.
“This round of funding allows the company to begin to really scale,” Wilson told Black Enterprise. “We launched to the public in November 2016 with one specific product. Then we were called Exempt Me Now. We rebranded to Resilia as it began to push into the market as well as introduced a suite of new subscription-based products, speaking to more of a fast business model. It allowed us to begin to rapidly grow and focus on recurring revenue. Now, this funding allows us to begin to hire, to fill out our executive suite of individuals who can help us grow the company to greater heights.”
It’s extremely difficult for Black tech startups to raise capital, let alone during a global pandemic. But Wilson got it done.
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 70: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin goes solo to discuss the COVID-19 crisis. He talks about the failed leadership of Trump, Andrew Cuomo, CDC Director Robert Redfield, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, and New York Mayor de Blasio.
When the raise was closing in mid-March, Wilson said she felt the pressure of covid-19.
“I was trying to get wires sent and documents signed, and I literally felt like the walls were closing in on me,” she said. “It’s definitely by divine nature that we were able to close right ahead of this. I’m thinking about founders who are just about to go out and raise money. You know it’s already hard enough for us Black founders. You can imagine how far down the totem pole we’re going to be.”
Resilia has 2,800-plus clients ranging from small to mid-sized nonprofits, government offices, private foundations and corporations. Among them are Oxfam America, Kellogg, United Way, and STEM Library Lab.