CEO and Co-founder Morgan DeBaun opens up about the future of her site at TechCrunch Disrupt SF.
During a one-on-one talk, CEO and co-founder Morgan DeBaun opened up that the journey of raising seed money has been “hot and not so hot at the same time,” but that when it comes to investors, they are looking for people who “get it.”
“You can tell [in] the first five minutes in a conversation with an investor if they understand and agree with the kind of premise that Blavity is built on which is that black people influence culture, that they’re underrepresented in tech and consumer tech products and therefore we have a blue ocean opportunity to really build something interesting for an audience that is incredibly influential in our culture,” she said.
The CEO also stressed that despite the lack of diversity in the tech world, Blavity has black investors such as Charles King and Microventures, an aspect that is crucial to their principles.
“That’s part of how we have designed our team and that includes our advisors to make sure that it’s reflective of what we care about,” she stressed.
In terms of the site’s redesign, DeBaun explained that Blavity was initially on WordPress, but when they saw how often readers were furthering the conversation in the comments section, they decided to take it a step forward and build a platform that would truly enhance that experience.
“Also most of our users are on a mobile device, about 80 percent of them, are visiting us on a web version of the site, so we needed to update it so that it was a cleaner smarter version and then enable people to create content without having to go through the editorial team to get up on the site,” she added.
Being one of few black female leaders of a start-up, DeBaun opened up about how “delighted” she was to be on this stage for the first time and how much it mattered to her, especially since when she first created Blavity over two years ago, she applied for the TechCrunch Disrupt scholarship and was declined.
“Being visible is part of any startup life,” she said. “You want to get press, you want people to know what you’re working on. If you want to be a thought leader, you want to be seen. For Blavity specifically, part of what we do is educate and inform as a media company it’s important that people know who I am.”
“The thing about diversity in general and in startup diversity is that a lot of my DMS and messages are from people who are inspired by seeing an all-black start up by a black founding team and me as a black female leader, so it definitely means a lot,” DeBaun concluded.
Scroll down once you click the link to watch DeBaun’s interview here.