This year, we’ve witnessed — and ourselves have been a part of — some of the largest fundraising rounds ever for women-led startups. Among them are women founders blazing new trails in healthcare, and we’re proud to have many of their companies in the GingerBreadCap portfolio. Read on for more of our latest news.
Our Autumn 2021 Newsletter
New Investments, Exits + Record Rounds
After two years of working remotely, our entire team met up IRL in early October for an all-day meeting in NYC.
In between the catching up, breaking bread and an in-depth review of our portfolio (we’ve definitely been busy), we also took some new photos. [Thanks to Tory Williams Photography]
Gotta say, 2021 has been a good year for us, for women founders, and for the 77 companies now in our portfolio. Our investment team is also growing.
Now well into Q4, 2021 has proved to be a record-breaking year (in dollars anyway) for VC investments in companies founded solely by women, as well as those with male and female co-founders. Not to underplay the negative effects of the pandemic, which resulted in far fewer VC deals and fewer dollars invested in women founders in 2020 that dragged down their companies’ valuations. However, during these last three quarters, investments in female-led companies have bounced back, with a vengeance, according to a just-released report from Pitchbook. Moreover, more women investors than ever before are writing checks to female founders — both as GPs and as angels.
One of the more sunny findings of the Pitchbook report is this year’s record number of exits by female-led companies, which are outperforming the market overall; they are also exiting more quickly than their male counterparts, which bodes well for investors and signals the superior performance of female-led startups, the report also notes. This is certainly true of the two exits we celebrated in September, when Charlie Javice‘s college financial aid platform, Frank, was acquired by JPMorgan Chase; and Christina Bognet‘s Platejoy, a nutrition and education platform, was acquired by the health and wellness digital content company, RV Health.
Health & Wellness: It’s Huge
This year, we’ve witnessed — and ourselves have been a part of — some of the largest fundraising rounds ever for women-led startups. Like the $100M Series B round in Tia, which closed in September. Tia co-founders Felicity Yost and Carolyn Witte (pictured) saw a huge opportunity in the need for holistic care (that is, our whole being — mental, emotional and physical) where women aren’t treated like a jumble of generic body parts.
They are part of a groundswell of women founders who are blazing new trails in healthcare, and we’re proud to have many of their companies in the GingerBreadCap portfolio — Kate Ryder of Maven, Colette Courtion of JoyLux, Lisa McLaughlin and Robin Ann McIntosh of WorkIt Health, April Koh of Spring Health, and Kimberly Wilson of Hued among them. These founders are providing innovative products and services addressing fertility, menopause, addiction and recovery, family mental health, and compassionate and culturally competent care.
Considering that women spend a whopping $500 BILLION annually on healthcare expenses, “femtech” isn’t a “niche”; it’s an arbitrage.
And more and more investors are getting it. Case in point: Maven, which with its $100M Series D round in September became a unicorn. In fact, later-stage investments in women-led companies are at an all-time high, including WorkIt Health, which in October closed on a Series C round of $118M; and Spring Health, which closed on a Series C round of $190M, pushing the company’s valuation to over $2B.
Next up for unicorn status: co-founder Iman Abuzeid‘s Incredible Health, which is tackling the nursing shortage in hospitals with its job-matching platform. It’s one of 25 companies Forbes has predicted will top $1-billion in valuation in the coming year.
Ita has some things to say about what it takes to get to unicorn status. Listen to her recent interview with Jennifer Justice on The Justice Dept.’s new podcast series, “Takin’ Care of Lady Business” (we LUV that title!).
And more about why it’s wise to invest in women founders…this past summer, we held our first webinar (er, Zoominar), “Women Investing in Women: The Ecosystem in Action,” moderated by Ita and featuring Linnea in conversation with Acrew Capital Partner Theresia Gouw and FirstMark Capital’s Beth Ferreira. Listen in to how each of these powerhouse investors made their way into the VC industry, and how they’re steering more investments to women and diverse founders. And check out Linnea’s “Killer Quote” from the session, below.
↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓ Killer Quote of 2021! ↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓
We also have some new, exclusive content on the GingerSnaps blog. Like great tips for founders on how to attract VCs to your startup, gleaned from our recent convo with Furtuna Skin co-founders Agatha Luczo and Kim Walls. And, sage insights from GingerBreadCap’s Katherine Rice on what makes a successful brand, getting more women (like you!) on company boards, and why she’s bullish on investing in women founders.
Our Portfolio News
We’re proud to introduce our latest additions to the GingerBreadCap portfolio:
Blueland – Reduce your consumption of one-time-use plastic with these home cleaning and personal care products that come in tablet form and refillable “forever” containers — just add water! Co-founded by Sarah Paiji Yoo and John Mascari in 2018, Blueland is a Certified B-Corp and is Climate Neutral Certified, too.
Compt – Co-founders Amy Spurling and Sarah Bedrick‘s Boston-based startup helps companies better support and reward their employees with its software platform that manages employee perks, bonuses, stipends and more to keep their work forces more productive and engaged.
Harness Wealth – Co-founders Katie Prentke English and David Snider match people who have increasingly complex financial situations, from stock buyouts to crypto windfalls, with financial experts who can help them navigate taxes, estate planning, investing and more.
Goodles – Healthy mac ‘n’ cheese? Yes, please! Goodles co-founder Jen Zeszut is reinventing the ultimate comfort food — and the noodles category — with healthy alternatives made with vegetables, real cheese, and lots more protein and fiber. Launching this fall!
Mented – This might just be the best makeup brand ev-ah for women of color. Co-founders K.J. Miller and Amanda Johnson founded Mented Cosmetics in 2017 after a futile search for the perfect nude lipstick. So they made their own, and in every woman’s shade, along with a full array of foundations, shadows, blushers and much more.
Proov – A quick, easy way for women, especially those who are trying to conceive, to track their menstrual cycles and understand their hormone health. Infertility veteran and PhD scientist Dr. Amy Beckley created an at-home fertility test after her own challenges getting pregnant. The company, which she launched with co-founder Ellen Schell in 2018, offers at-home progesterone test kits, to help women learn more about their cycles and ovulation. There’s a fertility test kit for men, too.
Calling all operators: We’re starting a job bank. Send us your CV.
So many of our portfolio companies are hiring, and looking for great talent. If you’re C-suite material — or have other superpowers — and you’re looking to help build the next unicorn, send us your CV and we’ll share it with our network of founders whose open positions might be a good match for you. Drop us a line and let us know what your interests are.
Thanks for reading!