fm InfoTech-Magazine.com 12/15 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
Women may be under-represented throughout the tech sector, but they’re building some incredible startups, apps, & products. We’ve rounded up a collection of female-founded startups that made the news this year. Some of them launched or came out of beta, while others raised funding or launched new services.
Dwnld – These days it seems like everybody has an app in the App Store. And why not? It’s a great way to make extra money while putting out a product you believe in. Alexandra Keating is capitalizing on that idea with Dwnld – a mobile app-creation platform that helps companies, brands, & other influencers easily & affordably, turn their content – from social media & photos to videos & GIFs – into native mobile apps in minutes. Dwnld landed a $12M Investment.
Spoon University – is a website to share recipes, health & lifestyle stories + restaurant reviews, BuzzFeed-esque quizzes, and other food-related content. It went live in Sept 2013 and quickly grew to a 100-person student staff at Northwestern’s campus, before expanding nationwide. It has raised a $2M seed round, says it attracts 2 million unique visitors every month — 10x growth from the 200,000 it had earlier this year. Schools like Penn, NYU, Dartmouth, & Michigan all have their own Spoon University pages, with 3,000 students actively contributing stories, photos, and videos to the website.
TheSkimm – Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin quit their jobs at NBC to start a daily Email newsletter called The Skimm. In 12/14 they raised a $6.3M series-A. The Oprah Winfrey-endorsed newsletter launched three years ago. The last time subscriber numbers were released the count was at 1.5 million. In addition to growing its readership, it has grown from two friends on a couch to more than a dozen people in an office.
WayUp — formerly Campus Job — is a marketplace for college kids looking for internships and jobs. About 90% of the positions offered on WayUp are paid, and the startup sees 10,000 new college-age users signing up weekly. Listings on the website include freelancing gigs, bartending jobs, & campus-representative roles for companies. It was born out of a campus-rep company that former Googler Liz Wessel had started with a fellow student at Penn. It’s an alternative to a college Career-service center. It recently went through the startup accelerator Y Combinator, moved back to New York from Silicon Valley, and raised $7.8M in May, bringing its total funding to $8.9M.
Vive – Alanna Gregory, founder. Few things make a woman feel more fabulous than a fresh “blowout”. But at $40 to $90 a pop in NYC, it’s a luxury that quickly adds up. Enter Vive, a “ClassPass for blowouts” startup, that lets members book unlimited blowout appointments at salons nearby – for a monthly fee. Founded by Alanna Gregory, Vive launched earlier this year and is still working with investors to raise funding. The service is definitely gaining traction. It capitalizes on the popularity of on-demand services – that make it possible to get what you want when you want it, relatively hassle-free.
Revel Systems – sells point-of-sale systems based on Apple’s iOS mobile platform. Since its 2010 founding by Lisa Falzone, it has sold its POS systems to 10,000 customers — including Dairy Queen, Goodwill, & Tully’s Coffee. Its employee count has doubled in the past year, from 200 to 400, and it has deals with big tech companies like Apple & Intuit. In 11/14, it raised a $110M. In August, it raised another $13M,at a $500 million valuation.
Glambot. Karen Horiuchi, founder has degrees in law & biotech. She was on a trip abroad, when she realized she had brought several containers of pretty much the same purple shade of eye shadow. She wanted to make some money selling it instead of throwing it away, but realized Amazon & eBay don’t accept used makeup. People looking to buy cheaper or discontinued versions of their favorites were relegated to forums & Craigslist.
She started Glambot as a side-business in 2013, but in the past year the team has grown to 12 people and is on track for $1M in sales. By setting the minimum number of products that can be sold to Glambot to 20, she has found that most of their sellers are people within the industry who receive extra samples & freebies or makeup-obsessed people who take good care of their products anyway.
The Muse. Kathryn Minshew & Alex Cavoulacos are the co-founders of this job-search & career-advice site. This year, it raised a $10M of funding. In total, the Y Combinator startup has raised $12.8M from investors. The Muse receives 3 million active users every month and is competing with other career-advice and job-search sites like LinkedIn & Monster.com. By the end of 2015, The Muse expects to hire 25 people. The startup also wants to expand to skills development. Compared to the average age of users on LinkedIn 47, Muse’s is much lower at 29.
The League (founder, Amanda Bradford) – is a selective dating app for elite, successful individuals – launched in San Francisco & NYC this year. This Stanford graduate founded it, to match up highly motivated & successful single professionals. Its users often have advanced degrees. The startup has raised $2.1M seed $$
Comments: do you know any other Hot Startups by Women?