Tall Poppy raises $1M seed round to fight online harassment

We are humbled and grateful to announce that Tall Poppy has raised a $1M seed round from a wonderful community of investors including InnerLoop Capital, Y Combinator, and individual angels.

We will be using this investment to scale up the work of protecting people from online harassment. While there are many systemic issues at play in terms of how social media and other internet platforms address harassment and abuse, the world can’t wait for the platforms to act. This is why we’re focused on helping individuals take the steps they can to protect themselves. We’re starting by working with employers, because new kinds of work expose employees to new kinds of risk - and employers owe it to their employees to protect them from workplace risks.

"Like many internet scourges, targeted online harassment is an asymmetric threat and therefore difficult to counter,” said Inner Loop Capital Principal Justin Label. “Tall Poppy is smartly leveraging best practices, technology and the power of the target's employer to mitigate the threat and help targets live their online and offline lives fully, with increased peace of mind."

At Tall Poppy, we are building a new kind of risk-management employee benefit, and we believe it represents a multi-billion dollar market opportunity. We are working to make our service as common as Employee Assistance Programs, because personal security threats are ubiquitous and everyone deserves access to quality protection.

Our work is part of an ecosystem and builds on the knowledge and friendship of many other organizations including Crash Override, Feminist Frequency, OnlineSOS, BetterBrave, and EmpowerWork. If you’re looking to support what we’re doing but aren’t a potential customer or investor, we recommend donating to or signal-boosting their important work.

If your company or employees are experiencing online harassment, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

You can read more about us in this recent Fast Company profile. Some additional things people are saying about our work:

Apply now for the next cohort of the StartOut Growth Lab

Here at Tall Poppy, we’ve been super fortunate to be part of the current cohort of the StartOut Growth Lab. StartOut is a global non-profit that works to help LGBTQ entrepreneurs thrive through a number of great programs. The Growth Lab is their signature program – a six-month, equity-free startup accelerator/incubator that gives LGBTQ founders office space and a fantastic close-knit support network.

Applications are open until May 17th, 2019 for the next cohort, which runs from August 2019 to January 2020. We heartily encourage LGBTQ founders of early stage startups to apply. Your team doesn't need to be all-LGBTQ, you just need to have at least one of the founders. Of the current cohort, 3/5 CEOs are women – another way StartOut is different from the average startup program!

Here’s more about what the Growth Lab offers:

  • Six months of ridiculously nice office space in San Francisco’s financial district

  • Incredible, transformative mentoring and coaching on fundraising, sales, and marketing

  • Free legal advice through Nixon Peabody (who donate the physical space, too)

  • Lunch-and-learns, dinners with investors, and other social events with the cohort

  • A Demo Day at the end where you get to pitch to investors

  • A wonderfully supportive cohort of peers – check out our cohort-mates here: Biolumen, Backr, Kyndoo, and Next For Me

The program is structured differently from the usual accelerator model that takes 7% or so. StartOut itself is a non-profit dedicated to LGBTQ entrepreneurship, and participating founders are asked to sign a pledge to personally donate 1% of any future exit to the non-profit. That doesn't go on your cap table, so it doesn’t cramp your fundraising style. (This is also to say: you get sweet office space, but they don't provide funding).

StartOut isn’t just an accelerator though - their other programs include mentor matching, guest experts, and an investor portal.

If you have any questions about our experiences in the Growth Lab, we’re happy to answer what we know, or reach out to StartOut directly.

We hope to run into you at a future StartOut event!

When I say that the office is nice, well, this is the view from the Growth Lab space! (from  our Instagram )

When I say that the office is nice, well, this is the view from the Growth Lab space! (from our Instagram)