Networking Startup Mixtroz Raises $1 Million Seed Round Following Rise of the Rest Win

Mixtroz, a platform that facilitates better networking at events, has raised a $1 million seed round. This follows the mother-daughter founder duo’s win of a $100K investment at Revolution’s Rise of the Rest pitch competition in Birmingham, Alabama this past May.

“I think in our mind, after Rise of the Rest, we thought we would be able to do this fairly quickly but that wasn’t the case,” COO Ashlee Ammons tells Hypepotamus. “That was really just the popping off point. Within those six months while fundraising full-time, we were able to grow the business, onboard new clients, and launch our SaaS platform.”

Ammons shares that the timeline of how long it took them to raise the funds matches the data within their ecosystem — on average, black female founders need more time than white males to raise a funding round once it opens.

It took Ammons and CEO Kerry Schrader six months to close the seed round.

“Now we’re just looking forward and feeling so inspired to actually move this business forward in a way that is scalable,” Ammons says.

Mixtroz tackles the awkwardness experienced by many at conferences and live events. The app helps attendees match up with like-minded folks and directs them to a curated networking experience within the venue. No silly name tags, no icebreaker games.

On the event host side, they gain valuable data about attendees, much of which was not previously available. “People leave their homes to attend events and collide with new people to extend their network,” Ammons says. “Your network is indeed your net worth.”

Originally, the startup charged event organizers on a per-event basis. But during their time at the Velocity Accelerator, the team pivoted to a true SaaS platform. This allows clients to easily onboard, customize their offerings, and pull their own data in real-time.

“Our original model wasn’t as scalable, but it did give us a 360-degree understanding of our primary customer, from universities to enterprises and event organizers, and show us how they’re using the product and the value it provides to them,” says Ammons. “Now we can do everything a lot faster and continue matching real people, not just profiles.”

Following the Velocity Accelerator program, which is housed in Birmingham startup hub Innovation Depot, the Mixtroz team also decided to move headquarters from Nashville to the Alabama city.

“Birmingham is leaning into diverse founders with diverse ideas. And if you come to them and you are a hustler with a business idea that has merit, they will lean into you. And we have felt that wholeheartedly,” says Ammons.

“That support goes beyond patting someone on the back saying good job, but coming behind that with dollars, either as customers or investors.”