Company Profile

AmplifyHer Ventures

Company Information

How the 2019 The Fundery Companies Were Selected

The Fundery includes venture capital funds that take equity stakes in women entrepreneurs or women-led companies as the execution of all or part of their investment theses. It does not include angel networks (unless they also run a venture capital fund) nor does it include special purpose vehicles.

Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Location
New York, New York
Year Founded
2018
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

Started in October 2018 by Tricia Black, who was formerly the vice president of ad sales at Facebook, Amplifyher says it is fully financed to make 10 to 15 investments of $100,000 to $300,000 in the next three years. Steering the investments with Black will be Meghan Cross Breeden, who was formerly a managing partner at Red Bear Angels. The fund says most of its investments will likely be in New York City or Boston.

Artemis Fund

Company Information

How the 2019 The Fundery Companies Were Selected

The Fundery includes venture capital funds that take equity stakes in women entrepreneurs or women-led companies as the execution of all or part of their investment theses. It does not include angel networks (unless they also run a venture capital fund) nor does it include special purpose vehicles.

Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Location
Houston, Texas
Year Founded
2019
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

As the co-founder of Monarq, an incubator for women entrepreneurs, Diana Murakhovskaya didn't need to be convinced that women face an unfair playing field when it comes to venture capital. She recalls one founding team, a man and a woman, who told her that when they pitched a particular firm, they were asked for nine references each. Every single one of the woman's references were contacted. Not one of the man's were.

"We believe great companies are being built by women," says Murakhovskaya. "But there is a lack of funding going their way."

Investors in venture funds "see the numbers" showing that women-only teams get 2.2 percent of venture capital, "and they’re shocked by them, but they don’t change it," says Murakhovskaya. "It's only when someone has a high-net-worth family office and a daughter in the workforce that they finally start to see the problem."

Murakhovskaya sees Houston as an opportune place to try to turn things around. Unlike in Silicon Valley, she says, Houston has many people with money who haven't considered investing in startups. "We started talking to people about the prospect of investing, and realized most had just never been asked, or didn't know it was an option," she says. So Murakhovskaya, formerly a commodities trader, teamed up with Leslie Goldman, a corporate lawyer, and Stephanie Campbell, managing director of the Houston Angel Network, to raise a $20 million fund.

The fund is called Artemis and looks to invest in seed and A-stage deals. Their favored industries are fintech; consumer products and experiential commerce; so-called lifetech (technology for aging and babies, and "anything that helps reduce friction for household CEOs"); and energy and sustainability. The partners plan to lead about two-thirds of their deals, take board seats, and help create funding syndicates. About two-thirds of the fund will be reserved for follow-on financing.

While Murakhovskaya and her partners are still raising money for Artemis, they had their first close in July, and announced their first investment that same month. It's uNest, a company that helps families create tax-advantaged college savings accounts.

Avestria Ventures

Company Information

How the 2019 The Fundery Companies Were Selected

The Fundery includes venture capital funds that take equity stakes in women entrepreneurs or women-led companies as the execution of all or part of their investment theses. It does not include angel networks (unless they also run a venture capital fund) nor does it include special purpose vehicles.

Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Location
Lafayette, California
Year Founded
2018
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

Harvard Business School classmates Corinne Nevinny and Linda Greub had already had successful careers in healthcare and investment banking when they began to think about becoming investors. In 2010, they began investing in health, wellness, and eco-friendly companies with a third partner. They figured they'd invest with their own money first, and maybe, someday, raise a fund.

One of their investments was nVision Medical, a company founded by Surbhi Sarna that developed a diagnostic test for ovarian cancer and was purchased by Boston Scientific for $275 million in 2018. "That really clarified it for us," says Greub. "We all know women entrepreneurs are not getting a great deal of funding. But we think there's an additional issue with women’s health."

Now Nevinny and Greub are indeed raising a fund, with an ambitious $100 million target. They're looking to invest in early stage companies addressing problems in women's health, often run by women. "Any time an entrepreneur is broaching something that a VC could be uncomfortable with, it makes it that much harder to get funding," says Greub. "It's not surprising that many women entrepreneurs want to work with women VCs. They're reading the numbers about how many women get funded, and they feel defeated before they even try. They feel like it's not an efficient use of their time to keep going to male VCs."

In healthcare, Nevinny and Greub want to provide an alternative, writing checks in the $250,000 to $500,000 range. So far they've invested in Alydia Health, a medical device company that treats postpartum hemorrhaging; Uqora, which treats urinary tract infections; and Madorra, which uses ultrasound to treat vaginal dryness in women who've had chemotherapy to treat breast cancer.

AVG Women's Fund

Gail Ball, founder of AVG.
Company Information

How the 2019 The Fundery Companies Were Selected

The Fundery includes venture capital funds that take equity stakes in women entrepreneurs or women-led companies as the execution of all or part of their investment theses. It does not include angel networks (unless they also run a venture capital fund) nor does it include special purpose vehicles.

Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Location
Wilmington, Delaware
Year Founded
2018
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

Alumni Ventures Group is an investment advisor that manages some 20 funds, most of them designed to support the alumni of specific universities. But included in those 20 are six so-called "open access" funds—meaning that no specific university tie is required—and among those is the AVG Women's Fund. The fund is structured a little differently than most: Each quarter, AVG raises a new fund to invest in women. Since the second quarter of 2018, when AVG raised its first women's fund, it has averaged about $2 to $2.5 million per fund. Gail Ball, managing partner at AVG, says she hopes to see the Women's Fund soon ramp up to about $10 million per quarter, which would make it one of the more active funds to invest specifically in women.

There are two ways to get into the Women's Fund. If you have a connection to one of the universities that AVG supports (a full list is here), you can pitch the managers of that particular fund. If your business is a fit, the Women's Fund may co-invest along with the university-focused fund. If you don't have such a connection, you can pitch the Women's Fund directly, starting here. "We are perfectly happy to have things come in over the transom," says Ball. The AVG Women's Fund invests across stages, sectors, and geographies. Its recent investments include GetAround, a peer-to-peer car rental company; women's healthcare company Qurasense; and Ellevest, an investment platform for women.

Backstage Capital

Company Information

How the 2019 The Fundery Companies Were Selected

The Fundery includes venture capital funds that take equity stakes in women entrepreneurs or women-led companies as the execution of all or part of their investment theses. It does not include angel networks (unless they also run a venture capital fund) nor does it include special purpose vehicles.

Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Location
West Hollywood, California
Year Founded
2015
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

In May, when Backstage Capital founder Arlan Hamilton announced the formation of a $36 million fund to invest in black women, she was surprised at the reaction. "They're calling it a diversity fund," she tweeted. "I'm calling it an IT'S ABOUT DAMN TIME fund." Hamilton is in the process of raising that fund; in the meantime, she's used her first, $5 million fund to invest $4 million in 100 entrepreneurs who are women, people of color, and/or members of the LGBTQ community. They include the founders of Tinsel, BeVisible, Blendoor, and Uncharted Power.