Redfin and Industry-Leading Venture Firms Pledge to Diversify Startup Boards

Venture Capital Firms DFJ, Greylock Partners, Madrona Venture Group and Pioneer Square Labs, as well as Board Software and Advisory Firm Boardspan, Commit to #DiverseFromTheStart Campaign, Opening Board Seats at Early-Stage Companies


Redfin (, the next-generation real estate brokerage, joined by venture capital firms DFJ, Greylock Partners, Madrona Venture Group and Pioneer Square Labs, as well as board software and advisory firm Boardspan, today announced a pledge to encourage diversity among startup boards. The #DiverseFromTheStart campaigns calls for startups to make at least one independent board seat available to diverse candidates within two years of series-A funding or an institutional investment. Other venture firms that wish to join the campaign can sign on via Twitter using the hashtag #DiverseFromTheStart.

In a blog post co-authored by Redfin CTO Bridget Frey and Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman, the company released new data showing that the ratio of new venture capital partners who are women has increased from less than one in three in 2013 to nearly one in two last year; but there has been absolutely no change in the diversity of startup boards over the last year. The problem with this, Redfin says, is that a company’s culture is often formed by its first 30 people.

“DFJ believes strongly that a small group with diverse backgrounds, perspectives and expertise are better than homogeneous groups at solving complex problems and deriving unique disruptive solutions,” said DFJ partner Emily Melton. “We believe this as a firm of investors collectively making investment decisions and we look for this diversity in founding teams. It is an obvious next step that we should extend this diversity to the boards where we have the privilege to serve.”

Frey will discuss the campaign at 1 p.m. Pacific time today as part of her opening keynote at the Redfin Women@Work event in Seattle. Redfin board members Selina Tobaccowala (co-founder, Gixo) and Julie Bornstein (chief operating officer, Stitch Fix), will also take the stage to discuss diversity and inclusion in the technology industry. The event will be streamed live here.

For more information on #DiverseFromTheStart and on Redfin’s research on the gender diversity of venture capital firms, click here:

About Redfin

Redfin ( is the next-generation real estate brokerage, combining its own full-service agents with modern technology to redefine real estate in the consumer’s favor. Founded by software engineers, Redfin has the country’s #1 brokerage website and offers a host of online tools to consumers, including the Redfin Estimate, the automated home-value estimate with the industry’s lowest published error rate for listed homes. Homebuyers and sellers enjoy a full-service, technology-powered experience from Redfin real estate agents, while saving thousands in commissions. Redfin serves more than 80 major metro areas across the U.S. The company has closed more than $50 billion in home sales.

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Redfin Journalist Services:
Natalie Schwab, 206-588-6863