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MeVitae raises $1.8M to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives

MeVitae Founder picture
MeVitae Founders. Image credits; MeVitae

Despite our differences, we are all one species, and our variety of attributes and identities have no bearing on our competence or potential. While we’ve made strides in equality, unconscious bias persists in everyone due to evolutionary predispositions and societal influences. These biases are not innate but are shaped by culture, society, and personal experiences. Institutional biases, remnants of a less enlightened era, still exist in industries and laws. While new regulations aim to eliminate these barriers, misconceptions about equality and inclusivity persist, especially in business. Ideally, job offers should be merit-based, disregarding personal characteristics. When this doesn’t occur, it’s a loss for both the individual and the business.

Transversely, businesses may sometimes reject the best candidates to improve diversity figures, which also cannot be regarded as true equality or inclusivity. Given equality of opportunity over equality of outcome, and removing conscious and subconscious bias, an organization’s diversity would naturally reflect those who aspire to work there. The trick is to remove the possibility of bias in the decision-making process.

Thus, in the ever-evolving landscape of business, addressing biases in decision-making requires more than mere acknowledgment. Recognising the need for robust bias mitigation tools, MeVitae, a UK-based Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) startup, has secured $1.8 million seed round led by Apex Black. This investment will propel MeVitae’s innovative AI-powered HR technology solutions and accelerate its expansion across the United States.

Driving force behind MeVitae

Situated in the innovation hub of Harwell, Oxford, MeVitae specialises in offering a comprehensive DE&I ecosystem of HR tools. These tools are meticulously designed to detect and mitigate cognitive and algorithmic biases, enabling organisations to enhance their hiring processes and make smarter, faster, and fairer hiring decisions.

Founded by Oxford University Alumni Riham Satti [CEO], a Neuroscientist, and Vivek Doraiswamy [CTO], a Computer Scientist, MeVitae is driven by a commitment to tackling biases in the workplace. Riham Satti, Co-Founder, and CEO, recounts her realisation during university that biases could impact opportunities based on gender or skin colour. The founders, armed with backgrounds in AI ethics and neuroscience, joined forces to address biases in routine decisions like hiring.

“Growing up I never considered that I may not get opportunities because of my gender or skin colour but when studying at university, I started to see that play out for my network” said Riham Satti, “As I delved into the study of human decision-making during my degree, the rigid nature of biases became increasingly apparent. Through our extensive research, both Vivek and I uncovered the pervasive influence of biases on routine decisions like hiring, accompanied by a noticeable lack of awareness surrounding this critical issue. With our scientific backgrounds, Vivek and I are natural problem solvers and so we joined forces to tackle bias in the workplace by applying perspectives from both AI ethics and neuroscience”

In a world where organizations are increasingly committed to tackling biases, MeVitae identifies a persistent challenge: organisations struggle to implement effective interventions and quantify their impact. MeVitae’s suite of tools directly addresses this challenge. They not only identify imbalances in applicant success rates but also recommend diverse interventions, with DE&I analytics enabling organisations to quantify the impact of these interventions.

Tangible impact on diversity and inclusion

MeVitae’s solutions have garnered attention and success across diverse sectors, including finance, government, and technology. Clients such as HS2, TfL, and The Good Food Institute have reported a substantial 30% increase in gender and ethnic diversity within their organisations. MeVitae’s approach stands as a testament to its effectiveness in driving positive change.

Over the past twelve months, MeVitae achieved a remarkable 350% expansion, operating profitably. The company has forged partnerships with industry giants like Oracle and Microsoft, demonstrating its credibility in the tech space. The leadership team has been strengthened with the addition of Geoff Lloyd, a seasoned HR professional with board-level experience at FTSE companies. He commented, “I am delighted to join the Board of MeVitae as for too long organisations have struggled with delivering the big advances in diversity and inclusion that have been striven for. MeVitae has created a truly innovative technology platform that significantly improves both the breadth and depth of the talent pool that organisations can access through removing bias and improving time to hire, all underpinned by class-leading analytics.”

US expansion and future goals

The $1.8 million investment represents a pivotal moment for MeVitae. It provides essential resources to accelerate product development and enhance existing solutions. Crucially, it serves as a catalyst for MeVitae’s expansion into the US, where the majority of its clients are based. The company aims to solidify its position as a leader in the field of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Rani Saad, Founding Partner of Apex Black, expresses pride in supporting MeVitae’s mission, “MeVitae is making the workplace fairer and more equitable, and we are proud to back them in their mission. A rapidly growing number of public and private organisations, across the globe, are trusting MeVitae in their drives towards diversity, equity and inclusion. This, we believe, is validation of the deep innovation and domain expertise embedded in MeVitae’s solutions, and testimony to the team’s unwavering passion.”

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