2017 proved to be a year of growth for female entrepreneurs who have risen in ranks even as societal conflicts, issues and pressures persist.
According to a CNN story filed in July 2017, a mere five months ago, only 3 percent of venture capital funding was received by American women CEOs. In addition, only 17 percent of startups were founded by at least one female founder in the year’s first quarter, as reported by TechCrunch.
While the US is trying to change that, India too is not to be left behind. The Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017 held in Hyderabad had a theme of ‘Women First. Prosperity for all,’ thus focusing and encouraging women entrepreneurship. Over half the attendees of the event, including entrepreneurs and investors, were women.
However, despite the more difficult path, many women entrepreneurs have founded and grown their own startups. We short-listed 10 startups, founded by women, which made news in 2017 and are a must-watch in 2018.
- Grow Fit
Founded in 2015 by Jyotsna Pattabiraman, Grow Fit is a health tech startup. The company offers users access to information regarding health foods, behaviour and provides coaching, with plans to expand the services offered. In June last year, the startup raised $4.5 million in their Series A round.
StyleCracker is a Mumbai-based fashion startup which provides personalised subscription boxes with items picked by their stylists. Co-founded by Archana Walavalkar, formerly a fashion editor at Vogue, in 2013, the company recently received a celebrity investment from Bollywood actor Alia Bhatt.
Bengaluru-based lingerie startup, Buttercups provides customers with appointments and fittings along with their lingerie products. The company was founded in 2014 by Arpita Ganesh who in 2017 won the Google SMB Heroes award.
Founded in 2013 by Namrata Bostrom and Priyanka Gill, POPxo is an online media company with a focus on their female audience. In 2017, the New Delhi-based company raised $2.7 million in a series B round. Investors in the round include Japan’s GREE Ventures, Kalaari Capital and IDG Ventures India.
Infibeam is an e-commerce company based in Ahmedabad founded by Neeru Sharma over a decade ago, in 2007. This past year the company received a license from RBI to launch their B2B payment platform.
Lingerie and sleepwear startup, Clovia was founded in 2013 and is based in Noida. Co-founded by Neha Kant ad Pankaj Vermani, who are husband and wife, along with other founders. The company raised $4 million in April last year. Investors in the round include IvyCap Ventures, Singularity Ventures, and Ravi Dhariwal.
- Square Yards
Founded by Kanika Gupta and Tanuj Shori in 2013, Square Yards is a real estate startup which released two additional programs this year. The Gurugram-based company launched Square Connect to connect brokers and Square Care for residential property management.
- The Moms Co
The Moms Co is a retail company which has focused on products for mothers and babies since its founding in 2016 by Malika Datt Sadani. The company made the news in 2017 for raising $1 million from DSG Consumer Partners and Saama Capital.
SHEROES is an online platform for women spanning a variety of functions including connections, job applications and educational opportunities. Founded by Sairee Chahal in 2013, the company purchased Babygogo in 2017, a startup focused on mothers.
Mumbai-based Nykaa is a retailer which sells customers beauty and wellness products from a variety of brands. The company was founded in 2012 by Falguni Nayar. In the past year, Nyka has expanded to physical stores with plans to expand to more stores.
(Picture courtesy: Silicon India)