Dear Colleagues and Friends,
It is encouraging to see the recent number of highly successful women-led companies accessing large pools of capital to build and expand their businesses. This reinforces the vision on which we launched the Women’s Venture Capital Fund five years ago and the opportunity that lies ahead for WomensVCFund II.
Nonetheless, it will require participation by major financial players to measurably close the investment gap for female founders. Therefore, we’re heartened by the recent announcement of the Goldman Sachs Launch with GS program, and the expansion of Intel Capital Diversity Initiative.
Within our own portfolio, we are pleased to share significant momentum, as well as announce a new member of WomensVCFund II Advisory Board:
- HopSkipDrive is expanding upon its highly acclaimed B2C service as the country’s leading “caregiver on wheels” to include critically needed transport for foster care children in Los Angeles, San Diego and Denver, as well as with schools and districts in California and Colorado.
- Mastercard made Nvoicepay B2B payments partnership official to focus on accounts payable automation for enterprise level businesses (link). In addition, Nvoicepay and Inspyrus have formed a technology partnership to bring to market a powerful end-to-end AP payment solution that significantly increases process efficiency and reduces costs.
- Third-party studies have validated Newsela’s product efficacy and student improvement. WestEd research found twice the reading gains in achievement scores with usage twice a week and three times the gains when used daily. Importantly, Empirical Education found that Newsela increased reading scores for students across all demographic groups.
- We’re delighted to announce that Steven Einstein, former Senior Partner in the Chairman’s Office of PwC and a leading M&A, private equity and corporate finance advisor, has joined the Advisory Board of WomensVCFund ll.
In June, the Women’s Venture Capital Fund hosted a Female Founders Panel in Portland to educate and inspire early stage entrepreneurs, and to help accelerate the startup ecosystem in markets outside of Silicon Valley and New York. The event featured five Oregon-based prominent women entrepreneurs who shared with great candor and humor how they navigated opportunities and challenges to raise capital, scale and/or exit. See video highlights here (link).