This article appeared on Angel List December 13, 2017
We live in a time where women receive less than 2.19% of all venture capital funding. But within this tiny percentage, there lives a group of startup founders who are poised to generate outsized returns for their investors.
In 2017, we saw a growing number of women-led companies achieve significant traction with customers and raise millions of investment dollars to expand their businesses. Startups like Accompany, Glossier, Shippo, and Lumi, among others, are killing it.
We asked investors from top venture capital firms to tell us about women-led startups they are most enthusiastic about. The responses may include companies in their portfolio, or companies they are excited about across a variety of industries. These startups are all hiring, and looking for talented people to join their teams. Below is a curated list of 20 of the best female founded companies to join in 2018.
Accompany uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to be your virtual chief of staff, providing you with all of the information you need about anyone you are meeting with in a given day. Accompany has raised over $40M to date from top investors, and is led by CEO Amy Chang, who previously ran Google Analytics.
P.S. Women represent 40% of Accompany’s growing team.
Founder Emily Weiss
Founder Tina Sharkey
Brandless is a direct to consumer e-commerce company that sells over 250 food, beauty, and household products all for $3. Some of CEO Tina Sharkey’s past endeavors include serving as CEO of Sherpa Foundry and SVP at AOL.
“It’s an amazing company, team, and mission that’s changing the way consumers approach e-commerce and retail. I’m a huge fan of their products and I’m not alone — a quick look at their social channels (esp. Instagram) and it’s clear they’ve started a real movement!”— Medha Agarwal, Redpoint Ventures
Founder Alice Zhang
Verge Genomics uses machine learning and human genomic data to defeat neurodegeneration. Using the same breakthroughs that power Google’s search engines, the company has discovered a way to map out the hundreds of genes that cause diseases like Alzheimers, ALS, and Parkinsons, and then find drugs that target all of the genes at once.
P.S. Founder Alice Zhang was recently named to Forbes 30 Under 30.
Mighty Networks allows users to connect in communities around their interests. Before launching Mighty Networks, Gina Bianchini co-founded social platform Ning along with Marc Andreessen, which grew to 90 million people across 300,000 active communities in entertainment, politics and education.
“We love that Mighty helps users form connections with people they don’t already know and build meaningful new relationships, while also allowing creators to monetize their influence.” — Justine and Olivia Moore, CRV
Founder Alyssa Ravasio
Hipcamp is a marketplace that connects campers and land. With 60 percent of U.S. land privately owned, the company aims to bring the world’s public campsites online, unlock private lands for camping, and get more people outside. Founded by Alyssa Ravasio in 2013, there are over 285,000 campsites, ranches, vineyards, farms, public parks available to book on the company’s website.
“Hipcamp is not only poised to build a big business, but with a wonderful mission: to get people outside to nature, and to inspire the next generation of people who are passionate about conservation.” — Lisa Marrone, August Capital
Founder Jesse Genet
Lumi helps e-commerce companies produce memorable and sustainable packaging through its online platform and worldwide network of factories.
Founder Jesse Genet has done well since turning down a deal on Shark Tank two years ago. The company went through Y Combinator, and currently serves customers from all 50 states and 20 countries worldwide.
Founder Laura Behrens-Wu
Shippo provides retailers with an API that simplifies the process of shipping items. Using Shippo’s API and web app, merchants can compare rates across USPS, FedEX, UPS, and other carriers. The company also prints labels, tracks packages, and automates paperwork.
Co-founders Lauren Schulte and Erika Jensen
Flex makes a tampon alternative that women can wear during sex. Since launching, Flex has become FDA-compliant and has an annual run rate in the multi-millions. Fun fact: 20% of Flex customers are men.
Co-founded by Brittany Stich and Rachel Carlson
Guild Education offers an education benefits platform that allows employers to offer tuition reimbursement and college degree programs to their employees. Co-founded by Brittany Stich and Rachel Carlson while attending Stanford, the company counts Fortune 1000 companies like Chipotle among its customers.
Co-founder Alisyn Malek
May Mobility is an autonomous vehicle startup that deploys fleets of driverless vehicles for enterprise and municipal customers. Co-founder Alisyn Malek previously worked at GM Ventures, where she oversaw the relationship with Cruise Automation, the driverless car startup acquired by GM in 2016.
Co-founders Annie Dean and Anna Auerbach
Werk is a job search platform founded on the belief that flexibility is the highest-impact, lowest-cost tool to recruit, advance, and retain women. The company sources and curates highly flexible jobs from top companies like HBO, Deloitte, and Samsung.
“Annie Dean and Anna Auerbach started this company as 2 McKinsey alums who realized they couldn’t continue working if they grew their families, so they are solving this problem for everyone else. They run a flexible to full time job marketplace catering to some of the largest corporations and they also offer tech products that hold the corporations accountable when it comes to supporting flexible work options and thus families.” — Jesse Draper, Halogen Ventures
founder and CEO Kate Ryder
Founder and CEO Kat Schneider
Ritual offers a 30-day supply of subscription vitamins for $30 per month. The company open-sources where its ingredients come from on its website, and recently closed $10.5M in Series A funding to scale the business and develop in-house technology.
co-founder Mathilde Collin