We’re starting to see some much-needed progress from the VC world when it comes to backing women entrepreneurs — some, but still not enough.
According to data company Pitchbook, female founders raked in $46.3 billion in venture capital in 2018 — far more than the $22 billion they received in 2010. But there’s plenty of room for more progress, since out of all the VC-backed firms out there, only 20 percent are women-run.
Here are five of those women-led firms, each of which raked in millions of dollars from investors in 2019 — and, spoiler alert: two have even earned “unicorn” status.
1. Rent the Runway
What It Scored: $125 million
A Little More: This firm, a go-to for rentable, event-worthy clothing, is officially a “unicorn.” (That means it’s a privately owned company worth over $1 billion.) Co-founded by Jennifer Fleiss and Jennifer Hyman, the fashion company received the money from previous investors Franklin Templeton Investments and Bain Capital Ventures, as well as new backers from T. Rowe Price Group and Hamilton Lane Advisors.
What It Scored: $100 million
A Little More: Known as the “millennial pink” make-up line, Glossier and its owner, Emily Weiss, have also earned “unicorn” status with this year’s Series D fundraising round. Investors included Thrive Capital, Forerunner Ventures and Tiger Global Management. Glossier began as a lifestyle blog, but is now an international brand with a storefront in New York City and famous fans like Chrissy Teigen and Beyonce.
What It Scored: $55 million
A Little More: Women were the major players in this bra company’s latest fundraising round, with Anne Wojcicki of genetic testing company 23andMe, Susan Wojcicki of YouTube and journalist Katie Couric providing the money. Co-founders Heidi Zak and Ra’el Cohen say they will use the funds to offer more options to consumers through its ”78 Sizes. One Perfect Fit” campaign.
What It Scored: $25 million
A Little More: Ritual, a subscription service for women’s vitamins, says social media has played a large part in its growth so far. Its next chapter, meanwhile, will come thanks to investors like Lisa Wu at Norwest Venture Partners, Kirsten Green at Forerunner Ventures and Brian Singerman at Founders Fund. Founder Katerina Schneider says the money will help her expand beyond daily and prenatal vitamins to additionally offer postnatal and a post-menopausal ones.
5. Haute Hijab
What It Scored: $2.3 million
A Little More: This hijab seller’s seed round of fundraising was led by Cue Ball Capital, with firms like Ludlow Ventures, Sinai Ventures, AngelList and more also kicking in. The company’s co-founder, Melanie Elturk, told us in 2017 that she wants Haute Hijab “to become the leading global hijab brand.” This cash infusion should help her toward accomplishing that goal.