2015 is of to a great start for several founders in the Women 2.0 community.
By Betsy Mikel (Editor, Women 2.0)
We’re still riding the excitement from our Women 2.0 Awards and we thought it couldn’t get any better. But we were wrong!
It’s amazing to see even more founders and innovators in the Women 2.0 community raise millions on millions upon even more millions to make their big ideas come to life.
Check out a few founders and their startups who made headlines this week.
SOLS Raises $11.1 Million for 3D Technology
SOLS uses 3D technology to design and print custom orthotics as prescribed by physical therapists, podiatrists and orthopedic doctors. With $11.1 Million in Series B funding, SOLS hopes to bring their products directly to consumers.
In 2013, SOLS co-founder and CEO Kegan Schouwenburg left her job at Shapeways as the Director of Industrial Engineering to start her company. “We’ve started off by 3D printing corrective orthotic insoles,” she wrote on Women 2.0 last year. “But in the future, the systems we’re building will support custom mass manufacturing of many of product types.”
“My previous company relied on overseas manufacturers and a long lead time; at SOLS, we are building a code base to generate customized product. If product is a manifestation of code, then new code can be pushed out any minute, and products can literally evolve in front of our eyes. I believe this concept will play a pivotal role in the next generation of product startups.”
Dating App Coffee Meets Bagel Raises $7.8 Million
“If I offered you $30 million for the company, would you take it?” Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban asked when Coffee Meets Bagel appeared on the show earlier this year. The co-founding trifecta — sisters Dawoon, Arum and Soo Kang — said thanks, but no thanks. They said they could see their service becoming as big as Match.com (which generates $800 million a year.)
Though the Kang sisters left the Shark Tank without an offer, they clearly had their fundraising ducks in a row. Coffee Meets Bagel just announced $7.8 million in Series A. They also recently opened their app to more users with an Android launch earlier this year. With impressive user growth (Dawoon Kang told TechCrunch in January they’ve got double-digit growth month-over-month and engagement around 57 percent monthly), Coffee Meets Bagel shows no signs of slowing down.
Since 2012, Coffee Meets Bagel has been bringing a new concept to the online dating scene with an app that recommends just one friend-of-a-friend match per day. Users have 24 hours to “like” or “pass” on the match. If both parties tap “like,” Coffee Meets Bagel connects the singles so they can chat. So both parties have to be interested before they can even start communicating — a refreshing change for many women who feel bombarded by messages and chats on other dating sites.
For some extra interesting insight Coffee Meets Bagel has found in their user data, read more about how both men and women perpetuate gender stereotypes through their online dating behavior.
About the author: Betsy Mikel is the managing editor of Women 2.0 and runs the content consultancy Aveck. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and a lifelong obsession with French language and culture. When she's not biking all over every city she visits to find its best taqueria, you can find Betsy on Twitter at @betsym.