Equal pay has been important to Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry since at least 2018, when he wrote an essay about the issue for The Players’ Tribune. Now, Curry’s investment arm is putting money behind that commitment.
Penny Jar Capital, the early-stage investment firm led by Curry, made a $1 million investment in Syndio, a pay equity software startup.
“Ensuring people are paid fairly is long overdue and is a fundamental issue that needs to be addressed to progress towards an equitable society,” Curry said in a statement. “Syndio is an objective solution that removes unconscious bias from the equation and changes the way business leaders tackle workplace equity, making pay equity the standard for companies around the world.”
Founded in 2017, Syndio is led by CEO Maria Colacurcio. The software company helps businesses study compensation in their workforces, with clients including Salesforce, Adobe, and PagerDuty. In total, Syndio’s platform has analyzed the pay of 2.6 million employees, the company says. Its other investors include Bessemer Venture Partners and Laurene Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective.
While the startup acknowledges the larger mission of closing gender and racial pay gaps across the economy—in 2021 the gender pay gap was 82¢ on the dollar—businesses largely use the tool to evaluate and plan for their own workforces, including to address questions of legal liability over compensation.
As an investor, Curry has backed businesses including the beverage brand Oxigen and the education startup Guild Education, which is valued at $3.7 billion.
Curry has been closely involved in the investment process, says Colacurcio. “While the [Penny Jar] team was really excited about our mission, they spent a lot of time in diligence with us,” she says. “So they really dug deep, they did their homework.” Curry and his team were especially interested in Syndio’s ability to address all kinds of pay gaps across both race and gender. Ninety-eight percent of the company’s clients are now using the tool to address some form of racial pay equity.
“We’re really using [this investment] to continue that momentum as the first and the best equity tech platform,” Colacurcio says.
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