GingerBread Capital + Pivotal Ventures Join Forces to Support Female Founders in Health & Wellness

In mid-October 2023, GingerBread Capital and Pivotal Ventures brought together an extraordinary group of leaders in the care economy to explore ways to accelerate investments in female founders who are creating better healthcare solutions for all people, at every stage of our lives.

Innovating and Investing in the Future of Care

Joining us in the conference room at KKR’s offices in Menlo Park, Calif. on October 12 were 30 founders, funders, and policymakers from around the US who are innovating and investing in the care economy. Our discussion focused on market-based solutions that will provide more accessible, lower-cost, better-quality healthcare services, especially for women, families, the elderly and the underserved.

(l-r): Pivotal Ventures Founder Melinda French Gates; Bold Co-Founder Amanda Rees; First Partner of California Jennifer Siebel Newsom; Tia Co-Founder Carolyn Witte; Cocoon Founder Mahima Chawla; and GingerBread Capital Founder Linnea Roberts.

What is the Care Economy?

Pivotal Ventures defines it as the “products, services, and technology that help alleviate the labor of caring for [the self or] another individual in terms of money, time, and/or mental load.” A seminal report by the Holding Co. estimates that the care economy is a $648 Billion market, comprising four categories:

  • Infant & child care
  • Aging-in-place & home-based care for the elderly and people with disabilities
  • Non-home-based long-term care, and
  • Household management

Catalyzing Solutions

At our gathering, Pivotal Ventures Founder Melinda French Gates, First Partner of California Jennifer Siebel Newsom, and GingerBread Capital Founder Linnea Roberts each spoke about the importance of private and public partnerships in catalyzing better solutions, especially in women’s healthcare, mental health, caregiving, and employee benefits.

We also heard from funders including Joanna Drake of Magnify VenturesLynne Chou O’Keefe of Define Ventures and Heidi Patel of Rethink Impact about why investing in this sector is critical to strengthening our economy—and how women founders in the healthcare space are producing outsized economic and societal returns.

And, we heard from founders themselves who are producing those returns (and in whose companies funders at the table are investing): Amanda Rees of Bold (elder health), Carolyn Witte of Tia (women’s health), Mahima Chawla of Cocoon (employee leave), and Helen Adeosun of Care Academy (caregiving).

Read Melinda’s recent article about investing in women founders like Helen who are transforming the care economy.

GingerBread Capital Partner Ita Ekpoudom and Pivotal Ventures Senior Director of Investments Erin Harkless Moore conceived of and produced this groundbreaking event. They brilliantly led what we intend as the first of many such gatherings in 2024 and beyond, focused on the actions we will continue to take to strengthen and expand the funding ecosystem for women founders.

Each person at the table left with a specific call to action: to share our resources, relationships, expertise, and capital to expand the funding landscape for women founders.