2018: A Year of Change and Momentum for Women Founders

Dear Friends,

It’s been a year of change and momentum for women founders. We’re proud to be a part of a growing ecosystem in which women are investing in each other, creating strong networks for advancing women in VC, and getting more investment capital into the hands of women building exceptional businesses.

It’s been an exciting year for GingerBread Capital (GBC), too. Last summer we launched the GBC website and our blog, GingerSnaps, and during the fall held our Women Investing in Women events in Los Angeles and San Francisco, with more gatherings planned for 2019 in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago, among other cities.

And, we rounded out the year with more than 30 female-led companies in the GBC portfolio, spanning industries from food to fintech to education.

We’re pleased to share with you some highlights of our news in 2018, below. Thank you for following us!

Wishing you the best of everything in 2019.

Linnea, Ita, Tadia, Cary & Jeanie

News About Our Portfolio Companies

In October, ELOQUII, a fast-fashion brand for the plus-size market launched in 2014 and led by CEO Mariah Chase, was acquired by Walmart. Congratulations to the ELOQUII team! Recode

Also in October, Court Buddy, the online platform that matches people who need legal services with attorneys at affordable rates, closed on a Series A funding round of $6.1 million. GingerBread Capital and other investors joined lead investor NFX Capital. Forbes

Node.io, a platform that facilitates deeper and wider-reaching connections between businesses and people, initiated a Series B round in October. Node has raised more than $35 million since its founding in 2016. Read founder Falon Fatemi’s pitch tips at Business Insider

Kinvolved closed on a Seed II round of $1.5 million in November for its software and services that help schools reduce chronic absenteeism and boost students’ daily attendance. Press release

Chewse, a food catering and company culture startup that offers family-style meals at the office, announced in early December a $19 million fundraising round to expand its operations in the Silicon Valley area. This brings Chewse’s total funding to more than $30 million. Along with GingerBread Capital, other investors include the Foundry Group and 500 Startups. TechCrunch

New GBC Investments

We’re really excited about the latest companies to join the GBC portfolio in recent months. Check out these amazing women-led startups and the great products and services they offer:

Brandless – Better doesn’t have to cost more. Better stuff. Fewer dollars. It’s that simple! Shop their irresistible collection of everyday essentials.

Goldieblox – A disruptive children’s media company challenging gender stereotypes with the world’s first girl engineer character. Let’s build an army of maker girls! Subscribe to the Goldieblox Channel.

Hello Ava – Discover the best products for your unique skincare needs, powered by AI and human expertise. Take Ava’s quiz to find your perfect regimen.

Maven – Women’s and family healthcare the way it should be. Expert, convenient and compassionate care wherever you are, whenever you need it. For employers, individuals and health plans. Sign up!

Monti Kids – Providing parents with a safely tested, virtual Montessori program designed for infants and toddlers. Get started by downloading Monti Kids’ free ebook. Tune into Shark Tank on ABC on Sun., Jan. 27 (9 PM ET) to see Monti Kids Founder & CEO Zahra Kassam pitch to the sharks!

Perksy – a DIY market research tool for businesses that employs surveys and incentives to engage Millennial and Gen Z audiences. Schedule a demo.

Platejoy – Feel great. Eat better. Personalize your meal plans and learn fast recipes designed for your lifestyle. Start a free trial.

The Riveter – Co-working spaces designed and built by women, catering to the way women work while providing  community and expert guidance to take your career or business to the next level. Check out the perks and benefits of becoming a member.

Sweeten – Tackling a major renovation project? Sweeten is a free service that will match your project with the best general contractors, and then offer personal support until the job is done. Start your renovation.

Out & About

Linnea and Ita co-hosted a luncheon for women interested in investing in women-led businesses at Launch with GS, an initiative by Goldman Sachs to invest in female founders and close the gender gap in the venture capital industry, in Seattle on Dec. 7.

Linnea also spoke about women investing in women founders as a panelist at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit in Laguna NIguel, CA on Dec. 12. Read the article.

Ita was a panelist at the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Boston, on Sept. 30. Ita also served as a judge at pitch competition Uber/girlboss on Nov. 17; and at Women’s Entrepreneurship Week at Montclair State University on Oct. 17. Watch the video.

Linnea (MBA ’90) served as a judge at the New Venture Challenge at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business on May 30. GBC made angel and seed investments in two of the top winners of this annual pitch challenge by student-led startups: Manifest, which helps employers and employees make the transfer of 401(k) accounts hassle-free; and Mindful Urgent Care, providing accessible, affordable mental health care on demand.

GingerBread Capital Women Investing in Women Events

This past fall, we held GBC Women Investing in Women events, on Oct. 2 in Santa Monica, CA at Silicon Valley Bank (watch our short video); and in San Francisco at Bernstein Wealth Management, on Nov. 8. Earlier in 2018, GingerBread Capital also co-hosted Women Investing in Women events with LDR Ventures in Los Angeles; and with Human Ventures and Park Bench Capital in New York City.

We launched our series of learn-pitch-network events in 2017 and this year we’ll be hosting more gatherings to bring together women investors and women founders, in how-to sessions, founder panels and networking in New York, Chicago and other cities. Stay tuned!

GingerBread Capital in the News

Check out our media coverage in 2018:

Fortune – “Women Investors Call for More Competition—from Other Women”

Forbes – “This is the Secret to Launching Successful Women Leaders”

AfroTech – “8 Black Women Making Waves in the Venture Capital World”

Forbes – “Four Female Investors Who Are Trying to Close the VC Gender Gap”

Women’s PE Briefs – “IN THE SPOTLIGHT – Linnea Roberts”

The Skimm – Interview with GingerBread Capital Founder & CEO Linnea Roberts

From the GingerSnaps blog

Take a look at our top posts in 2018:

Investing in Women Founders: 8 Tips to Get You Started

How to Build an Investor Network

The Diversity Gold Rush

No One Should Have to Go to Court Alone: GingerBread Q&A with Court Buddy’s Kristina Jones

Thanks for reading!