Celebrating 2012 successes of women entrepreneurs building high-growth, high-tech startups. By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0)
Each year, we celebrate an impressive number of female founder successes. From funding secured for your early-stage startup, to a merger or acquisition, these milestones should be celebrated!
Take a moment to reflect on your biggest startup successes this year. Did you launch a new product? Did you hit an impressive revenue milestone? Did you scale your employees from 3 to 30?
Female Founder Successes Of 2012
Amy Sheng (Co-Founder, CellScope) A mechanical engineer, Amy Sheng co-founded CellScope for at-home disease diagnosis using smartphone cameras connected to a web platform. CellScope raised $1M from Khosla Ventures in June 2012. Follow her on Twitter at @amysheng.
Áslaug Magnúsdóttir (Co-Founder & CEO, Moda Operandi) An Icelandic native, Áslaug Magnúsdóttir co-founded Moda Operandi to disrupt the fashion industry. Moda Operandi raised $36M Series C in June 2012, for a total of $46M in venture capital raised. Follow her on Twitter at @AslaugMO.
Cathy Edwards (Co-Founder & CTO, Chomp) CTO Cathy Edwards co-founded app search engine Chomp in 2009, building the proprietary algorithm and launching the iPhone app in 2010. Chomp was acquired by Apple for $50 million in February 2012. Follow her on Twitter at @cathye.
Ching-Yu Hu (Co-Founder & Director of Business Development, Skybox Imaging) With plans to deliver big data powered by small satellites, Ching-Yu Hu co-founded Skybox Imaging in 2008. Skybox Imaging raised $70 million Series C in April 2012 from Canaan Partners and Norwest Venture Partners. Follow her on Twitter at @cyhu.
Christina Koshzow (Co-Founder & CMO, Branding Brand) Christina Koshzow co-founded Branding Brand, mobile commerce platform powering sites and apps for major retailers. After four years of bootstrapping, Branding Brand raised $7.5M Series A funding in October 2012. Follow her on Twitter at @brandingbrand.
Desiree Vargas Wrigley (Co-Founder & CEO, GiveForward) Civic-minded Desiree Vargas Wrigley started GiveForward to help people raise money for a friend or family member in need (ie. medical crisis). GiveForward raised $2M Series A led by Founder Collective and First Round Capital in July 2012. Follow her on Twitter at @DesireeGF.
Emily Olson (Co-Founder & Chief Foodie, Foodzie) Foodie Emily Olson co-founded Foodzie, an artisanal food subscription box service that graduated from TechStars and moved to San Francisco. Foodzie was acquired by JOYUS in June 2012. Follow her on Twitter at @emilyolson.
Heather Hiles (Founder & CEO, Pathbrite) Oakland-based Heather Hiles founded Pathbrite, a career portfolio startup. Previously, her roles included being the former Commissioner of San Francisco Unified School District and CEO of SFWorks. Pathbrite raised $2.5M in June 2012. Follow her on Twitter at @heatherhiles.
Ingrid Lestiyo (Co-Founder & CEO, Mobsmith) Former product manager Ingrid Lestiyo co-founded Mobsmith, a mobile ad-serving platform that offers both an agency side and a publisher side solution. Mobsmith was acquired by Rubicon Project for $10M in May 2012. Follow her startup on Twitter at @mobsmith.
Jennifer Hyman (Co-Founder & CEO, Rent The Runway) As a Harvard Business School student, Jennifer Hyman hatched the idea for Rent The Runway, a way to allow people to buy what they need without shopping for it. Rent The Runway raised $20M Series C funding in November 2012. Follow her on Twitter at @Jenn_RTR.
Jennifer Lum (Co-Founder, Adelphic Mobile) Serial mobile entrepreneur Jennifer Lum is co-founder of Adelphic Mobile, enabling efficient buying and selling of targeted mobile media at scale. Adelphic Mobile received $10M from Google Ventures in December 2012. Follow her on Twitter at @jenniferlum.
Jess Lee (Co-Founder & CEO, Polyvore) Combining her love for fashion and technology, computer science major and former Google product manager, Jess Lee co-founded Polyvore and raised $14M Series C funding for the fashion startup in January 2012. Follow her on Twitter at @jesskah.
Kass Lazerow (Co-Founder & COO, Buddy Media) After selling Golf.com to Time in 2006, Kass Lazerow and her husband started social media management software company Buddy Media, raising four rounds of funding before Salesforce acquired Buddy Media for $689M in June 2012. Follow her on Twitter at @kasslazerow.
Kirsten Spoljaric (Co-Founder & VP of Human Resources, Mashery) After running HR for Feedster and Spear Technologies, Kirsten Spoljaric was recruited into the founding team of Mashery. Mashery raised $10M Series D in venture funding in July 2012. Follow her on Twitter at @kspoljaric.
Kirsten Tobey (Co-Founder, Revolution Foods) Former educator Kirsten Tobey co-founded Revolution Foods, serving large school systems and underserved schools as well as grocery stores. In December 2012, Revolution Foods won the $9M San Francisco Unified School District contract. Follow her on Twitter at @kirstentobey.
Kristin Groos Richmond (Co-Founder & CEO, Revolution Foods) Seven years ago, Kristin Groos Richmond co-founded Revolution Foods to provide healthy, fresh, affordable meals to school districts. The VC-backed Revolution Foods recorded 2011 revenue of $28.1M and a 3-yr growth rate of 196%. Follow her on Twitter at @revolutionfoods.
Leah Busque (Founder & CEO, TaskRabbit) To outsource errands, the efficiency-minded Leah Busque coded the first version of labor marketplace TaskRabbit in 2008. TaskRabbit announced raising $13M Series C in funding led by Founders Fund in July 2012. Follow her on Twitter at @labusque.
Michelle Lam (CEO & Co-Founder, True&Co) Lingerie subscription company True&Co was co-founded by Michelle Lam. True&Co raised $2M in seed funding in May 2012 from First Round Capital, SoftTech VC, Cowboy Ventures and more. Follow her on Twitter at @trueandcompany.
Michelle You (Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer, Songkick) Music fan Michelle You co-founded Songkick, now the second-largest live music site behind LiveNation. Songkick raised $10M from Sequoia Capital in March 2012 and launched their product Detour later that year. Follow her on Twitter at @wreckingball37.
Priya Haji (Co-Founder & President, SaveUp) After selling her last startup (World of Good) to eBay, serial entrepreneur Priya Haji launched consumer finance startup SaveUp to reward people for saving money, not spending. SaveUp closed $4M in venture funding in July 2012. Follow her on Twitter at @priyahaji.
Rashmi Sinha (Co-Founder & CEO, SlideShare) Social software and interface designer SlideShare CEO Rashmi Sinha co-founded SlideShare in 2006 to share documents online. SlideShare was acquired by LinkedIn for $118M in May 2012. Follow her on Twitter at @rashmi.
Sandy Jen (Co-Founder & CTO, Meebo) - now at Google Software engineer Sandy Jen co-founded instant messaging tool Meebo in 2005 with Elaine Wherry and Seth Sternberg. Meebo was acquired by Google in June 2012 for $100 million. Follow her on Twitter at @meebosandy.
Sarah McIlroy (Founder & CEO, FashionPlaytes) Entrepreneur Sarah McIlroy launched FashionPlaytes, a next generation commerce platform enabling girls to design their own clothes and purchase them. FashionPlaytes raised $5M Series B in September 2012. Follow her on Twitter at @smcilroy1.
Sarah Wood (Co-Founder & COO, Unruly) "Accidental entrepreneur" and serial academic Sarah Wood co-founded Unruly Media in 2006 and raised a $25M in a new round of funding in early 2012, a record for a social video company with offices around the world. Follow her on Twitter at @sarahfwood.
Sheila Lirio Marcelo (Founder & CEO, Care.com) PITCH 2012 speaker Sheila Lirio Marcelo launched Care.com to help you find caregivers for the elderly, children and pets. Care.com raised $50M Series E funding in August 2012, bringing total funding to over $110M. Follow her on Twitter at @smarcelo.
Shereen Shermak (Co-Founder & VP Product & Strategy, Buyside FX) Serial entrepreneur and angel investor Shereen Shermak co-founded Boston-based Buyside FX, a foreign exchange trading platform which received seed funding from Google Ventures and Atlas Venture this year. The startup was a finalist for MassChallenge this year.
Susan Gregg Koger (Co-Founder & CCO, ModCloth) Launched out of co-founder Susan Gregg Koger's Carnegie Mellon University dorm room, ModCloth raised $25M Series C funding in May 2012 to grow the company. Follow her on Twitter at @susangkoger.
Tracy Sun (Co-Founder, PoshMark) Fashion tech entrepreneur Tracy Sun co-founded PoshMark, a mobile peer-to-peer shopping platform which raised $12M Series B led by the Mayfield Fund in December 2012. Follow her on Twitter at @tracy_sun.
Victoria Ransom (Co-Founder & CEO, Wildfire Interactive) Serial entrepreneur and businesswoman Victoria Ransom co-founded social media marketing company Wildfire Interactive in July 2008. Google acquired Wildfire Interactive in August 2012 for a rumored $350 million. Follow her on Twitter at @victoria_ransom.
Wendy Tan White (Co-Founder & CEO, Moonfruit) As a computer science major who worked in finance, Wendy Tan White started UK-based website and online shop builder Moonfruit with her husband in 2000. Moonfruit was acquired by Yell for $37M in May 2012. Follow her on Twitter at @wendytanwhite.
Let us know about your successes - we want to celebrate them!
Are you a female founder with a success to celebrate in 2012?
To join the list of female founders, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with:
- A 140 character description of an accomplishment in 2012.
- Your full name, startup name & job title, your headshot, a link to your company/startup website and your Twitter handle.
How do female founders qualify to make this Women 2.0 list of 2012 successes?
- You must be a female founder of a technology company, defined as a company with an engineer/technologist on the founding team.
- A “success” for this list is a company launch, significant product launch, significant milestone reached, angel/venture funding received or similar success.
Women 2.0 readers: What is your big entrepreneurial success of 2012? Let us know in the comments below.
Angie Chang is Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Women 2.0, a media company offering content, community and conferences for aspiring and current women innovators in technology. Our mission is to increase the number of female founders of technology startups with inspiration, information and education through our platform. Previously, Angie held roles in product management and web UI design. Angie holds a B.A. in English and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.