Tough Leaf Announces Successful Seed Funding Round

POSTED BY: Business Insider | 20th July 2023

Tough Leaf, a company connecting general contractors and developers with diverse/minority-owned businesses has raised $3.1 million in its seed funding round and announced plans for a Series A.

New York, New York--(Newsfile Corp. - July 20, 2023) - Tough Leaf, a mission-driven platform that connects general contractors and developers with qualified business enterprises owned by minorities, women, veterans, and other disadvantaged groups, has announced its oversubscribed seed funding round of $3.1 million.

The seed funding round, which opened in July 2022 and closed in November, was led by AlleyCorp, with the participation of proptech investors Stellifi and RE Angels.

According to Tough Leaf founder Wissam Akra, the successful seed round generated funds to continue the development of the company's matching platform that utilizes machine learning and AI to match minority, women and disadvantaged business enterprises (MWDBEs) with general contractors and developers. It has also allowed the company to expand its headcount and the reach of its operations. Just six months after closing the funding round, it has awarded more than $180 million in projects, free of charge to the diverse firms that have received these contracts.

"We are thrilled that Tough Leaf's funding round was oversubscribed, particularly considering the challenging fundraising landscape for early-stage startups in the current macroeconomic conditions. Despite these obstacles, we successfully secured the necessary capital, enabling us to build an exceptional sales team and expand our product offerings into new markets.

Before the funding round, our primary focus was on the New York market. Today, our database boasts an impressive count of over 90,000 diverse firms, and we have projects in eight states. Looking ahead, our vision is to extend our reach to 28 states by the end of this year, and ultimately, to serve the entire United States by 2024," Akra said.

Tough Leaf was founded by Akra in 2021 with a clear purpose: to connect general contractors and developers with qualified business enterprises owned by minorities, women, veterans, and other disadvantaged groups. Prior to founding Tough Leaf, Akra had amassed over a decade of experience in the construction world. He was in the process of pursuing an MBA at Columbia Business School, which further fueled his passion to create a platform that would drive positive change and promote diversity within the construction industry. Since its inception, the company has strived to foster inclusivity and provide equal opportunities within the construction industry. Aside from government requirements to increase diversity and minority participation in the industry, many major private sector employers also have internal ESG objectives and are looking to engage with diverse and minority-owned companies.

"The previous and upcoming funding rounds will help us obtain the resources needed to make our mission come to life and grow our footprint in the market. These will allow us to hire more people that believe in our vision and will help push our company forward. We are working hard to develop more partnerships and to help diverse firms win more projects before the next funding round,"Akra says.