Tangent Secures $1.1M Pre-Seed Investment to Drive Social Mobility in Tech

co founder photo

We are excited to share Zinc’s investment in Tangent, a technology start-up on a mission to create a world where the social contexts you’re born into do not limit your career and wealth potential. Founders Gary Izunwa and Joe Adams met as part of Zinc’s fourth cohort, united by a passion to transform access to opportunities for jobseekers from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. 

This $1.1 million pre-seed funding round, including Google Black Founders Fund, Syndicate Room, a line-up of prominent angel investors as well as Scouts from Atomico and Ada Ventures, underscores Tangent’s commitment to addressing a huge, unaddressed diversity gap in the tech sector.

Addressing the Diversity Disparity

Recent data paints a stark picture: 9% of all UK tech employees come from low socioeconomic backgrounds despite making up 39% of the total UK population. This figure is significantly worse than the finance and law industries, where 29% and 23% of employees respectively come from low socioeconomic backgrounds.

You are nine times more likely to be hired through an employee referral and 82% of employers rank referrals as their best recruitment channel. This is great for those with an existing professional network, but for people from a lower socioeconomic background, the chances are you don’t have this type of network and therefore can’t access the best recruitment channel. 

The Power of Employee Referrals

Tangent is addressing this with its employee referral platform that combines video technology, AI, mentorship programs and a dynamic marketplace to make employee referrals accessible to everyone, not just a privileged few with established networks. 

During their 12 months at Zinc, Gary and Joe launched Tangent’s MVP and sold enterprise solutions to companies including Multiverse and GoCardless. This pre-seed fundraise comes as the team officially launches its platform out of beta and into the wider market.

Starting with entry-level tech sales roles, the Tangent platform connects jobseekers directly with employees from London’s leading tech employers including Stripe, Amazon, and Revolut, who offer mentoring, advice, and referrals to Tangent’s pool of socially diverse talent. 

Looking Ahead

Tangent sits right at the heart of Zinc’s thesis of building commercial solutions to solve the world’s most pressing problems. As they emerge from beta and scale go-to-market operations, we’re incredibly excited by the huge opportunity for both commercial growth and impact at scale. We’ve been inspired by the progress that Gary and Joe have achieved in a short space of time and are excited to continue to partner with them through the next phase of their journey.


Why build your mission-led business at Zinc?

Gary Izunwa

You can read more about Gary’s entrepreneurial journey and experience at Zinc in this interview on the Zinc blog.

Is 2024 your year?

If you’re an innovator or academic ready to accelerate your entrepreneurial journey, applications for our next venture building cohort are now open. Offers are made on a rolling basis, with early applications prioritised, so don’t delay: https://www.zinc.vc/ 


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