September 28, 2021 | 3-minute read (532 words)
According to PitchBook, venture capital investments in female-founded U.S. businesses reached a record $20 billion in 2019. Meanwhile, another Pitchbook report found that firms with women on their founding teams are likely to depart "one year sooner than the rest of the market."
While these numbers show promising trends in terms of gender equality in the startup sector, profiling select female-founded businesses that experienced successful exits highlights this even more thoroughly.
Victoria Tsai founded the skin-care company Tatcha in 2009 to treat dermatitis on her face, and it worked so well that she sold her belongings to establish the company to offer the same goods to others. She sold the company to Unilever earlier in 2019. Tatcha is believed to have made $70 million in revenue in 2018, and Tsai says she thinks the Unilever acquisition will help the company grow further.
Travel Noire, a travel and discovery platform, was purchased by Blavity in 2017. Founded by Zim Ugochukwu, Travel Noire provides travel information for Black millennials, sharing perspectives from other travelers.
Cloudflare, a cloud-based network service provider, raised $565 million during its first public offering in September 2019. Co-founder Michelle Zatlyn stated that the business is striving to invest in R&D and technologies, as well as considering prospective acquisitions.
Mariana Tek, a provider of company management software, was purchased by Advent International in late 2019. Stacey Selden established Mariana, which produces software for the boutique fitness sector. Selden is a serial entrepreneur who sold ownership of the company management platform Flywheel Sports in 2014.
Stitch Fix, a web-based personal shopping service, went public in 2017, generating $120 million in the process. Katrina Lake created the firm, which utilizes data science and human stylists to choose clothes for consumers. Lake is still the business's CEO and is on the board of the female-founded beauty startup Glossier.
Eventbrite, a public ticketing firm, issued 10 million shares at $23 per share in its first IPO in 2018. According to co-founder Julia Hartz, the company intends to use the funds to continue its growth trajectory, including expanding into other categories or countries. She stated that event organizers might use the platform to sell tickets to their events.
Schmidt's Naturals, a natural deodorant company started by Jaime Schmidt in her home in 2010, was sold to Unilever in 2017. She is still working on the company, but she has also created an investment fund to help other entrepreneurs.
"Our products were in every type of retailer, to reach as many people as possible," she explained. "We sold mass, of course. But you would also find us in mom-and-pops, luxury spas, co-ops, and natural food stores. We didn't say no to any distribution channel."
SheWorx, a company that helps female entrepreneurs network, was purchased by equity crowdfunding platform Republic in 2019. Before the purchase, founder Lisa Wang grew the company for four years, growing it to a membership of almost 20,000 women who collaborated to build their businesses. "If you're going to create any significant change, you can't keep going down the same old path you've always been on," she said.