Check out a few female-founded innovative companies that recently secured investor funding and are planning for future expansion.
By Jordan Hunter (Editorial Intern, Women 2.0)
It’s always good news when a company secures a financial backer, especially when the founders are female entrepreneurs who had an innovative idea that others doubted, but who still ran with it and succeeded.
Here’s a roundup of three female-founded companies who recently secured financial backing and how they plan to use the investment.
Danielle Morrill: Mattermark
Mattermark, a data platform for venture capital companies to quantify signals of growing and potentially lucrative startups, recently raised $2 million in second seed round.
The software allows venture capitalists and investors to access data from Twitter, LinkedIn and other news sites to see who is talking about who so that they can see who is a possible investment. The hope is that Mattermark will become the go-to resource for investors and firms.
Danielle Morrill is the co-founder and CEO of Mattermark. She was the brains behind recently shut-down Referly, an online referral system that tracked the links users would share on social media, built them a reputation and awarded them for promoting products. Morrill and her two other co-founders focused their attention on Mattermark after the shutdown in March and began focusing on fundraising.
“We had a lot of plans, we needed to hire engineers to build the improvements our customers were asking for, we needed a way to cover our steadily growing AWS bill, we needed to start experimenting with new markets,” said Morrill on Medium.
With the new funds, Morrill is already taking action and has hired a number of new employees to assist her the the day-to-day duties in heading a business.
Chantel Waterbury: Chloe + Isabel
Founder Chantel Waterbury recently secured $15 million in Series C funding for her three-year-old social commerce jewelry company Chloe + Isabel. The company has reinvented the typical sales model and gives inexperienced but ambitious entrepreneurs the chance to build their resume.
Users can sign up as merchandisers, who build a digital workplace for customers to shop different Chloe + Isabel jewelry collections and have the opportunity to earn commission as they sell.
“We are here to help [each saleswoman] build the type of company she wants to build,” founder and Chief Executive Chantel Waterbury told the Wall Street Journal. “We’re all about helping her earn a lot of money.”
Waterbury founded Chloe + Isabel with the vision of changing the traditional sales model, empowering young Generation Y women and encouraging them to try their hand in the entrepreneur world.
Waterbury has spent over 15 years over a 15-year career in jewelry design, development, and merchandising at industry heavyweights like Target Corp., Macy’s, Gap Inc., and LVMH, as well as brands like Kenneth Cole, Cartier, Tiffany and Co. and Ippolita, according to the company’s website.
With the recently secured money, Chloe + Isabel hopes to expand into Asia and go beyond jewelry.
Alli Webb: Drybar
Drybar, a blow dry bar company, recently secured a $20 million investment.
The concept for the company started when Alli Webb, the co-founder and chief creative officer of Drybar, started a side business called Straight-at-Home where she provided blow-outs to women in her Los Angeles home on a referral basis. She eventually realized the high-demand and decided to expand and created Drybar.
Michael Landau, Drybar’s co-founder and Webb’s brother said he was hesitant when his sister came to him and asked for him to invest in her idea four years ago. “Alli has always been overly confident that this was a service that women wanted, needed and would love,” Landau told Forbes. And she was right, Drybar now serves more than 100,000 women every month in their 37 locations.
Drybar has expanded their company from more than just blow dry services and now sells hair products such as hair tools, shampoos and conditioners and hair accessories.
"The demand we are seeing from women around the world for our products and services is humbling and incredibly exciting. This investment will allow us to further accelerate our expansion plans" Webb told Market Watch.
Their website says their philosophy is to focus on one thing and be the best at it.
What female-founded companies should we keep an eye on?
About the author: Jordan Hunter (@wannabe_wintour) is an editorial intern at Women 2.0. She is in her last year at San Francisco State University where she is pursuing a B.A. in journalism and a minor in political science and was the former Print Managing Editor of the campus newspaper. She loves everything to do with grammar and blogging about beauty.