Company Profile

No.37

JumpStart Focus 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
Cleveland, Ohio
Year Founded
2016
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

The JumpStart Focus Fund is a $10 million fund for women and minority entrepreneurs. It comes out of the powerhouse accelerator and economic development hub JumpStart, which is based in Cleveland and aims to support entrepreneurs in Ohio--or those who are willing to move there. It's looking to invest in entrepreneurs working in medical technology, software, advanced materials, aero propulsion power management, fuel cells/energy storage, sensing/automation technologies, situational awareness/surveillance systems, and solar photovoltaics.

No.38

Karmijn Kapitaal

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
Year Founded
2010
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

Founded by three women in 2010 and based in Amsterdam, Karmijn was the first European venture fund to invest specifically in gender-diverse teams. In 2013, it finished raising its first fund, for about 47 million euros. The fund invests in all industries, but its portfolio companies must be based in the Netherlands. Karmijn invests from 2 million euros to 12.5 million euros, and is a growth fund. It is looking for companies with five years of operating history and revenues of at least 5 million euros. Its portfolio includes companies such as Voigt Travel, which specializes in Scandinavian expeditions; Picturae, which digitizes cultural and natural-historical materials; and IMA, an influencer agency.

No.39

Marigold 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
Year Founded
2019
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

Jonathan Hera, the co-founder of Toronto-based Marigold Capital, isn't all that impressed with the changes he’s seeing in the funding of entrepreneurs. "The white men funding other white men with toys is shifting to white men funding privileged white women, he says. He does think this represents some progress: "The access gap is real," he says, referring to women entrepreneurs and their ability to raise capital. “But to focus on one attribute is not in our minds appropriate or holistic enough."

So in March of 2019, Hera started raising a venture fund to complement Marigold's advisory work. The fund, he says, is a "deep gender equity social impact fund." That means that yes, Marigold is looking for female founders and people of color. But Hera wants to see those founders leading businesses that are helping marginalized populations. For him, that means focusing on two sectors. One is healthcare, and companies that are focusing on either sexual and reproductive health or mental health. The other is social justice and equity. "We’re trying to tackle modern slavery, or human trafficking, by looking at supply chain elements in fast fashion or food security," he says. Some local media companies, he says, can also fall into the category of social justice.

Hera is targeting a C$20 million fund, with a first close of C$5-6 million. It'll be looking for companies in Ontario and Quebec, as well as the Great Lakes, Midwest, and Northeast U.S. Hera anticipates that the fund will write first checks of $200,000 to $300,000 to about 30 companies. He estimates that about eight companies will need second rounds, to which Marigold could contribute $500K to $750,000. Three companies might get third-round checks from Marigold of up to $1.1 million.

So far, Marigold has invested in Ulula, a software to help stop sexual harassment and other abuses; NeedsList, which helps channel humanitarian aid and disaster relief efforts; and The Discourse, which supports locally driven community journalism.

No.40

Mergelane

Mergelane co-founders Elizabeth Kraus (left) and Sue Heilbronner.
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
Boulder, Colorado
Year Founded
2015
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

Mergelane began as a 12-week accelerator program for female founders before it decided to focus on its venture fund. So far, the Boulder-based firm has invested in 42 companies. It still offers an intensive seven-day program for founders with a heavy focus on conscious leadership, along with a three-day leadership camp. Mergelane's fund doesn't have a specific industry focus, but is most interested in technology-enabled products, services, and software companies. The companies need to be showing traction, and be run by at least one woman. Mergelane's portfolio companies include interior design and e-commerce platform Havenly, underwear upstart TomboyX, and nonpartisan voter guide BallotReady.

No.41

Merian 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
San Francisco, California
Year Founded
2015
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

At $100 million, Merian is one of the largest funds to invest solely in women, but it still invests at the earliest stages: seed and Series A. Its investments are split pretty evenly between the U.S. and the U.K., and it searches for companies in cyber technologies, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and consumer-facing technologies essential to the internet of things.