Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Emma Hinchliffe, Joseph Abrams

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy sells her third startup, theBoardlist, to rival

Singh Cassidy, founder of theBoardlist, speaks during a fireside chat at the GeekWire Summit in Seattle, Wash., U.S., on Oct. 11, 2017. (Credit: Daniel Berman—Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Heather Manchin and her father are starting a new project for centrist politics, Indeed is offering relocation money for transgender employees, and theBoardlist has a new owner. Have a thoughtful Thursday.

- On board. Eight years ago, Sukhinder Singh Cassidy founded theBoardlist. The board candidate discovery platform helps board-ready executives find their first seats and helps companies find diverse board talent.

It was Singh Cassidy’s third time as a founder (she'd previously founded a video shopping platform and a financial data platform), this time around with a business model that supported a social mission. She's gone on to serve as president of StubHub and now CEO of the accounting software business Xero, while staying on as theBoardlist's chair.

Today, Fortune is the first to report, Singh Cassidy and her executive team have sold theBoardlist for an undisclosed sum to a new owner: the board platform BoardProspects.

BoardProspects complements theBoardlist in several ways, Singh Cassidy says. Based on the East Coast, BoardProspects mainly connects public company board members; about 70% of West Coast-based Boardlist's opportunities are at private companies. TheBoardlist has a much larger membership of 48,000 as a freemium platform compared to its new owner’s $500 annual paid service serving 5,500 members. BoardProspects has a stronger infrastructure for connecting board members with each other, not just with board opportunities. Both platforms offer corporate search services.

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, theBoardlist

The board space has been fragmented, Singh Cassidy says, and she hopes a merger helps create a more cohesive experience for board candidates. “I want us to consolidate so we can continue to get bigger and provide the premium platform for discovery and governance for all types of board members,” she says.

When Singh Cassidy founded theBoardlist in 2015, diverse boards were still far from the norm. Since then, the issue has been legislated and later overturned—but the impact of California's diverse boards mandate and Goldman Sachs' policy requiring companies it takes public to have a diverse director has been lasting. Today, 32% of S&P 500 directors are women and 22% are non-white. All-male, all-white public boards in the U.S. are a rarity.

Even as the cultural climate shifts—with ESG a new bogeyman in GOP politics and affirmative action lawsuits targeting corporate diversity programs—Singh Cassidy believes board diversity has a unique staying power thanks to natural turnover.

As a founder, Singh Cassidy says she's looking forward to a fresh era for theBoardlist. "It feels like both relief and the beginning of a new chapter" after eight years, she says. "It takes a long time to build great companies. Some of the most interesting companies get interesting in year 10 or 15."

Emma Hinchliffe

The Broadsheet is Fortune's newsletter for and about the world's most powerful women. Today's edition was curated by Joseph Abrams. Subscribe here.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.