In 2023 We Announced 7 New Early-Stage Investments


Slang AI provides SMBs with a customizable virtual phone agent, transforming the phone into a channel that is intelligent, personal, and delightful for callers.

Slang is the first customer intelligence layer for the phone. With clear proof points around increasing revenue, reducing staff phone time, and resolving caller demands, Slang has grown quickly to over 200 customers, including Zola, Studs, Slutty Vegan, and IGC Hospitality.


Hue drives sales with shoppable, user-generated video technology, featuring authentic testimonials from everyday people.

Credo, Exa, and Lawless Beauty are already benefitting from Hue’s full-service solution, which comes at a fraction of the cost of traditional influencer agencies. Hue’s comprehensive shoppable UGC technology is creating a 29% conversion increase on websites that feature videos powered by Hue.


Aircon is making worldwide air freight consolidation simple for air freight forwards of all sizes.

Aircon is the industry’s first digital platform that enables consolidation across the entire air freight market. Moreover, Aircon optimizes the entire air freight booking, monitoring, and cost-cutting process, while providing rates significantly better than those offered by airlines or other booking platforms.


Darby is on a mission to make it a joy to deliver magical patient experiences in the home.

Darby is revolutionizing the currently manual, error-prone, and time-consuming at-home-care order process by supercharging intake teams with AI-powered fax automation technology. Darby’s innovative document processing allows teams to focus on what matters, providing quality care experiences.


Hypernatural is a generative video creation platform for marketers.

Hypernatural uses AI to understand your unique style and generates new, never-before-seen B-roll that aligns with your brand. Hypernatural enables you to add custom-generated captions, animations, and logos to make your videos stand out.


Trove Health makes it easy for you to access your medical records, when you need them, in a format you can actually use.

Trove Health is building the world’s largest longitudinal, consented database of patients and their health information across geographies and therapeutic areas. Trove Health’s vision is that with the proper authentication, any user can access any healthcare data through any application.


Cenoa has built a “Borderless Super Wallet” to help individuals and institutions build long-term wealth and protect their assets from inflation.

The Cenoa team is making a smartly calculated bet, beginning with decentralized banking in emerging markets, where the value proposition of accessing dollar-based products and inflation-resistant yields is extremely meaningful. The team is bridging the masses to a new financial infrastructure built on blockchain technology.

Portfolio Momentum

We congratulate our portfolio founders on an impactful year of business building and value creation. In turbulent times, they’ve shown resilience, grit, and progress.


CloudZero Lands $32M to Transform Cloud Cost Management | BBJ

Slang AI

Slang AI Emerges From Stealth With $20M | TechCrunch


Goldcast Named to G2's Fastest Growing Products List


Salsify Adds Visionary Leader & Core Partner Jeff Barnett to Board


Pagos Raises $34M as the Demand for 'Payment Intelligence' Rises | TechCrunch


Luminai Co-Founder, Kesava Kirupa Dinakaran, Named Thiel Fellow


Payroll Billionaire Bets on Employee Retention Startup HelloTeam | Forbes


Apploi Founder Selected as EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Finalist

Findmine, Ethena, & Hue

Inc. Publishes 2023 Female Founders 200 List


MGMT Boston Substack Spotlights Herald


Coda Unveiled Coda AI Across All Workspaces


H1 Partners With Michael J. Fox Foundation To Tackle Parkinson's


BusRight Secures $7M to Transform the School Bus System


HourWork Named 2023 "Startup to Watch" | BBJ


Kaiko Voted Hedgeweek's Best Data & Research Solution 2023


Project44 a Leader in 8 Categories in G2 Summer 2023 Grid Report


Ikigai Raises $25M to Bring GenAI to Tabular Data | TechCrunch


Hue Honored By 2023 Inclusivity Champion Beacon Awards

Apploi, Kard, & HelloTeam

Apploi, Kard, and HelloTeam Counted Among The Inc. 5000

Trove Health

Trove Health Founder Matt Ross Recognized in Forbes 30 Under 30


Cenoa, the $ Account For Emerging Markets, Launches in Nigeria


Messari Releases 2024 Crypto Thesis


The Underscore portfolio by the numbers


Active portfolio companies

  • Future of
  • Vertical
  • B2B
  • Emerging

Sourced from...

60% Boston Founders

Measuring what matters

Since becoming a PRI Signatory in 2021, we’ve been measuring what matters and benchmarking the diversity of those we have the privilege to invest in.


Diverse Founders

46% of Underscore’s participating portfolio company founders identify with an overlooked gender, race, or sexuality.


Female Founders
Compared to 11% benchmark

Nationally, only 11% of early-stage funding went to female founders.

Source: Crunchbase, 2022


Black/Latinx Founders
Compared to 0.9% benchmark

In Boston, only 0.9% of early-stage funding went to Black/Latinx founders.

Source: All Raise, 2021

As of 12.5.23 - Based on 68 portfolio company founders who opted into self identifying in Underscore’s D&I survey.

2,000+ Core Members

The Underscore portfolio is strengthened by our Core Community of battle-tested business builders.

  • 15
    Peer Groups
  • 46
    Formal Core Gatherings
  • 91
    Core Summit NPS

2023 Core Leaders

Seijin Mong
Customer SuccessSr. Director of CS, Starburst Data
Rob Zambito
Rob Zambito
Customer SuccessFounder, Success Scaled
Joseph Alim
ProductVP of Product, Compt
Susan An
SalesVP of Sales, HYCY
Alex Lindahl
Alex Lindahl
SalesSales Director, Chainguard
Shari McGrath
Customer SuccessCS Executive
Anum Valliani
Anum Valliani
ProductDirector of Product Management, Lambent
Alex Ruiz
ProductHead of Product, LearnLux

Underscore returns 10% of our profits to members of our community who help us source, select, and build iconic companies.

We call these special members of our community Core Partners. To date, Underscore has 111 Core Partners.

8 New
    Core Partners   Added in 2023 including...

Samual Lee
Samuel Lee
Head of Pricing Strategy and Operations, SnowflakePagos Core Partner
Wendy Wise
Wendy Wise
GTM Advisor/ConsultantCloudZero Core Partner
Nish Murthy
Nish Murthy
Founding Partner, Minot Light ConsultingAircon Core Partner
Suresh Bala
Suresh Bala
VP Product Management, WorkdayClockwork Core Partner
Andy Han
Andy Han
VP Product Management, Veeva SystemsHi Marley Core Partner
Carsten Holm
VP Product Management, SplunkPagos Core Partner
Jay Wampold
Jay Wampold
CMO, Sixty AICloudZero Core Partner
Joe Morrison
Finance at Collard Advisory GroupCloudZero Core Partner
Core Summit

We welcomed over 650 Core Members to 12 Sessions

Enthusiastically Sponsored by...

Startup Secrets

Wisdom Shared in 2023

This year, we packaged community knowledge in written, video, and even AI-powered form! Our tools have amassed tens of thousands of views since launching.

Most Popular Resources of 2023

Seed Funding Video Series

We made a list of all the most common questions we hear from founders when it comes to raising Seed funding. Then we sat down in front of a camera to answer them all!

How to Announce Your Early-Stage Funding (With Coda AI)

We couldn't resist experimenting with AI.

How to Hire Your First Salesperson

Making your first sales hire is a challenge, especially if you don’t have sales experience. Should you hire an experienced leader? How about someone with specific industry experience? How do you determine whether a salesperson will succeed in your company?

Seed Milestones: How Much Traction Do You Need to Raise Seed Funding?

What counts as traction? Should I be raising a Seed or Pre-Seed? To these questions and more, the answer from many early-stage VCs is: It depends. This piece helps demystify what “it depends” on, so you can identify your strengths and weaknesses and determine if you have “enough” traction.

How to Start a Customer Advisory Board

A customer advisory board (CAB) is a closed, select group of customers that occasionally meets to share ideas, feedback, and insights. We break down how to organize a CAB, and the benefits of doing so.


5 Underscore Insights for the Road Ahead

Lily Lyman

We’ll see healthcare providers get comfortable with generative AI solutions in select back-office use cases including prior authorization, billings and claims, and order management for in-home care delivery. Other use cases like diagnostics and patient engagement will struggle to get adoption because of noise in the market and perceived risk.

Chris Gardner

Growing and efficient B2B/Enterprise software companies are already able to raise now and it will get even more competitive in the new year. AI-powered automation will be the headline, but the real winners will be those bringing proprietary data and AI models to vertical industries. Sectors to watch include cybersecurity, identity and fraud management, healthtech, cloud and AI cost optimization, and supply chain management.

Jimmy Orsillo

In 2024 we'll see continued progress toward unwinding the frothiness of the last market cycle toward something more rational. Later-stage fundraising will still be a slog, given the overall pacing of revenue growth and the tightness of capital markets. This uncertainty will persist at some level, but we should have more transactions to understand pricing floors and where pockets of demand for new investments will be. Startups built in this environment will undoubtedly have a level of resiliency that will endure.

Richard Dulude

Enterprise AI moats—and shareholder value—for foundational model providers, like ChatGPT, will be challenged by open-source equivalents, beginning a tectonic shift in the market. The existing enterprise shareholder value will be destroyed, and the consumer value gained will be massive, and yet inevitable to avoid.

Brian Devaney

In 2024 we’ll experience a natural startup extinction event, which will produce a wave of talent recycling. Resilient Seed to Series C startups that survive will be the benefactors of a flock of layed off talent. In turn, the strong will be strengthened.

In Memoriam

As we reflect on our 2023, we remember the incredible and lasting impact John Pearce has had on our firm, portfolio, and community. Within the Underscore family, we called John “The Legend,” as he was an endless source of experience, sound advice, and amazing stories. We are grateful for the wisdom he shared and the example he set for us all—something we will carry forward as a team in 2024 and beyond.

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