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The Smart Money
E.B. Boyd | November 23, 2011
The stereotype: Venture capitalists don't invest in women founders. The reality: Female VCs and angels do.
Theresia Gouw Ranzetta
Investments: ModCloth, LearnVest
The backstory: Founding VP at release software before joining Accel.
The insight: “For women in Silicon Valley of a similar age, our level of interaction increased as we started having kids. The things that supposedly make it harder for women to succeed actually made the network more valuable. We have more inter-connection points, not just professionally but personally.”
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Investments: Plum District, One Kings Lane, Rent the Runway
The backstory: Worked at Gap, Odwalla, and North Face before joining Kleiner Perkins in 1999.
The insight: “More companies are leveraging insight about women consumers, whether it’s physical commerce, mobile services, e-commerce, or ‘mom’ commerce. We now take it for granted that all women have a smartphone and that busy moms shop online. it’s almost indispensable.”
The backstory: More than 25 years in the tech biz, including as Founder-CEO of Vivant.
The insight: “A venture firm or angel group that has women at the partner level is significantly more likely to make investments in women-led or -founded companies. it’s also an indicator to a woman founder that the firm has a level playing field.”
Investments: TaskRabbit, Wordnik
The backstory: The self-described “investing ninja assassin” teaches entrepreneurship at Stanford.
The insight: “I always tell my students, ‘I don’t care what major you are, you should take at least one programming course, just so you know you can do it.’ The knowledge that you can hold your ground is extraordinarily important, especially for women.”
Investments: Crave, Birchbox, Serena & Lily, Snapette
The backstory: Was a Montgomery Securities analyst covering the retail industry, then a VP, before founding Forerunner.
The insight: “There’s a lot to be said for women entrepreneurs having role models—for seeing other women they can relate to in one way or another. It gives an increased level of confidence.”
Investments: none yet (just started)
The backstory: an early employee at YouTube, Carrico launched Facebook’s video chat, then cofounded travel company Galavantier.
The insight: “After trying to raise money in the Valley, i know it’s not fair. People told me not to pitch VCs while pregnant, not to wear a wedding ring. At one point, someone told me to bring a man. Before, i never would have thought of investing in women just because they’re women. But now i’m focusing on women entrepreneurs.”