A lady operating a system and surrounded by various gadgets

One of the biggest issues facing the startup ecosystem of the world today is the gender bias experienced by females in business. This particular problem has reflected in several areas and especially in the fund procurement process of female-founded startups. Although the world is becoming more evolved and sophisticated in recognizing the invaluable contributions of the female mind in key areas, from business to politics and a wide range of other fields, the support provided to female-founders still continue to grow at a very slow rate when compared to that of the male-founders. Charts in support of this claim, showing the venture funding of male and female-founded startups in 2015 and 2017 are displayed below.

Chart Source: TechCrunch
Chart Source: Pixr8

While these are just some of many statistics whose accuracy cannot be fully verified, a unanimous conclusion gained from rigorous research shows the venture funding of female-founded startups to be significantly less than that of male-founded ones.

Despite this controversy in today’s economy, female-founders continue to push against the barriers and take on daunting positions, branching even into the tech industry (an all male field some decades ago). We therefore bring to you the top ten female-founded startups turning heads in the global tech industry today.

Eventbrite Inc

Eventbrite is an internet startup that specializes in the provision of online event planning services. The startup manages a platform that helps users find and host various events. Some of these events include conferences, fundraisers, visual arts, politics, reunions, workshops and classes to mention a few. The platform also allows certain activities such as registering online, selling tickets, managing events, posting events and many more. Eventbrite provides their services to users worldwide and is a prime example of a female-founded startup crushing the tech industry.

Highlights

Founders: Julia Hartz, Kevin Hartz and Renaud Visage

Date of Incorporation: 2006

Headquarters: San Francisco, California, United States

Funding Amount: US $557.3 Million

Number of Investors: 20

Funding Status: Post-IPO Equity

TaskRabbit

TaskRabbit is an innovative platform that provides a variety of handyman services with the aid of technology. The startup has quite an interesting story of how it came to be. Leah Busque, the founder, was out of dog food on a cold night in Boston when she thought to herself, “Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a platform on the internet I could go to connect with my neighbors, preferably those already at the store in that very moment who could be of help?”. This was the birth story of TaskRabbit (formerly known as RUNmyERRAND), a platform with an old school concept of “Neighbors helping neighbors”. The startup was acquired by IKEA on September 28, 2017 and is one of the popularly known female-founded tech companies thriving in the industry.

Highlights

Founders: Leah Busque, Brian Leonard and Kevin Busque

Date of Incorporation: January 1, 2008

Headquarters: San Francisco, California, United States

Funding Amount: US $37.7 Million

Number of Investors: 14

Funding Status: Secondary Market

Starling Bank Limited

Starling Bank is a tech-driven mobile banking startup devoted to granting users full control and proper management of their finances. The company provides a debit card and a mobile application that helps users save together for trips, send money to acquaintances and exercise total control of their finances. Formerly known as Starling FS upon being founded, the company officially became Starling Bank in 2016.

Highlights

Founder: Anne Boden

Date of Incorporation: January 1, 2014

Headquarters: London, England, United Kingdom

Funding Amount: £363 Million

Number of Investors: 6

Funding Status: Series Unknown

Canva, Inc.

Canva is an online graphics design platform that offers software solutions to help users design various images, layouts, icons, presentations, social media graphics, fonts and so on. Their software combines a stock library of illustrations, imagery and photographs with a drag-and-drop design tool to provide users with the best possible graphics in line with their requirements. Canva has made a name for itself by being one of the most popularly known female-founded startups in the tech industry.

Highlights

Founders: Melanie Perkins, Cameron Adams and Cliff Obrecht

Date of Incorporation: 2012

Headquarters: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Funding Amount: US $301.6 Million

Number of Investors: 29

Funding Status: Series Unknown

Verge Genomics

Verge Genomics is a biotech startup that specializes in using human genomics and machine learning to accelerate drug discovery. The startup was founded by a combination of experienced neuroscience drug developers and top-tier machine learning professionals. Verge genomics ultimately seeks to improve the lives of patients struck with neurodegenerative disease by utilizing all available resources in speeding up the drug discovery process.

Highlights

Founders: Alice Zhang and Jason Chen

Date of Incorporation: 2015

Headquarters: San Francisco, California, United States.

Funding Amount: US $36.1 Million

Number of Investors: 17

Funding Status: Series A

Affectiva, Inc.

Affectiva is an AI-powered startup that actively works to humanize technology. The startup is a spin-off from a MIT Media Lab that established and defined the Emotion AI category. Having been built using a massive combination of speech science, computer vision, deep learning and a lot of real-world data, their software can analyze and detect various human emotions. Affectiva also helps the automotive industry in building cutting-edge mobility solutions able to adapt to complex human states for personalized transport experience and improved safety measures. Their software is currently being used by 25% of the Fortune Global 500 startups to analyze user engagement with TV programming, ads and videos. 

Highlights

Founders: Rana el Kaliouby and Rosalind Picard

Date of Incorporation: April 2009

Headquarters: Boston, Massachusetts, United States.

Funding Amount: US $62.6 Million

Number of Investors: 16

Funding Status: Series B

PlanGrid, Inc.

PlanGrid is a tech-driven, cloud-based startup that develops simple and powerful construction software to allow markups, photos, plans and reports to be instantly shared with everyone on a construction project. The platform permits architects and contractors to collaborate from their mobile or desktop devices concerning project plans, photos, specifications and more. Formerly known as Loupe, the startup later came to be known as PlanGrid.

Highlights

Founders: Tracy Young, Kenny Stone, Ralph Gootee and Ryan Sutton-Gee

Date of Incorporation: November 2011

Headquarters: San Francisco, California, United States

Funding Amount: US $69.1 Million

Number of Investors: 26

Funding Status: Secondary Market

Elvie

Elvie is a UK-based health and lifestyle startup devoted to the development of intelligent technology for women. The startup offers various programs and apps to improve the lives and health of women globally and at all stages. Two of the most recent innovations of Elvie is an award winning kegel training app and the world’s very first silent wearable breast pump. The femtech startup is completely dedicated to servicing females using advanced tech systems and as such is a world-class, female-founded tech company.

Highlights

Founders: Tania Boler and Alexander Asseily

Date of Incorporation: August 1, 2013

Headquarters: London, England, United Kingdom

Funding Amount: US $53.8 Million

Number of Investors: 8

Funding Status: Series B

Clue

Clue is a healthcare and tech startup that provides a platform for females to track fertility and period cycle. The startup utilizes data and science to deliver relevant insights into female health. Their application predicts the user’s PMS and periods based on the data provided. Clue also calculates fertility windows based on worldwide averages which can be made even more accurate by providing the ovulation test data. The startup ultimately aims to help everyone and anyone benefit from insights into female health.

Highlights

Founders: Ida Tin, Hans Raffauf and Moritz von Buttlar

Date of Incorporation: 2012

Headquarters: Berlin, Germany

Funding Amount: US $29.7 Million

Number of Investors: 19

Funding Status: Series B

Mighty Networks

Mighty Networks is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that helps creators and brands host their own community network effect. The startup has a goal to usher in a new era of digital businesses based on the power of network effects. In essence, Mighty Networks helps creators and brands collate their online courses, content, membership, digital subscriptions and community under a single brand in order to build a network effect. This effect becomes more and more valuable as new members join and contribute to it. 

Highlights

Founders: Gina Bianchini and Matteo Melani

Date of Incorporation: 2017

Headquarters: Palo Alto, California, United States

Funding Amount: US $16 Million

Number of Investors: 13

Funding Status: Series A

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