This year, only 2 per cent of funds raised by startups went to companies with a woman founder. This is down from the 9.2 per cent that went to startups with a woman founder in 2016. However, the good news is that that many investment firms have agreed to set up separate funds just to look at women-led companies. Aerospace and security company Lockheed Martin is looking to invest in women-led startups. The company has also tied up with the Indian government and Tata Trusts in order to support women entrepreneurs through Seed funding.
Additionally, the Telangana government, has said that it will set up India’s first government-backed venture fund to support women startups. The fund will have an initial corpus of Rs 15 crore. Zone Startups also launched the second edition of empoWer, its tech incubator for women. Let's hope more initiatives like these help many more women-funded companies flourish.
Here are a few women-led startups that were funded in 2017:
V Resorts, founded by Aditi Balbir, raised $4 million in funding in June. Her company is a new-age travel solutions startup which provides standardised premium experiences in the leisure travel space. The company introduces the Indian traveller to new and unexplored places in the country. The company has over 100 properties spread across 17 Indian states.
Balbir says: “Our business model is simple – develop a new destination, establish a resort, support the local villages by providing employment, developing new skills, supporting the local trade, and provide the customer with a true ‘Make In India’ tourism experience.”
Co-founded by Neha Kant, Clovia raised $4 million in funding in April. This was its second round of funding and it will use the money for marketing and to develop its product and technology. It claims to have 1.5 million visitors a month.
Digital parenting community, Baby Destination, raised Rs 2 crore from GEM Partners this month. The capital will be used to push for internal growth and hiring. “The funding will also support our long-term goal to become a globally recognised digital parenting platform for personalised information and product discovery,” founder Tamanna Dhamija said in a statement.
Niramai, a Bangalore-based startup which uses Artificial Intelligence to screen for breast cancer, has received seed funding.
According to Nirmai’s website, it has developed a new cancer screening software that uses machine intelligence over thermography images to enable a low-cost, easy to use, portable solution and requires minimal human supervision
Geeta Manjunath and Nidhi Mathur founded the company. The solution they have developed will help women detect cancer five years before the lump even starts forming, says CEO Manjunath.
The Moms Co
The company raised $1 million in funding this year. Co-founded by Malika Datt Sadani, the company has launched natural, certified and toxin-free pregnancy care and baby care products.
Josh Talks, co-founded by Supriya Paul, raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Apurva Chamaria,VP & Head – Corporate Marketing, HCL, Girish Mathrubootham – founder, Freshworks, and Rohit Chanana, Head, Strategy & Finance – Hero Corporation, to name a few.
The organisation has organised talks in over 25 cities, has reached out to more than 65,000 attendees and has more than 25 million views for its online content.
Akanksha Hazari, founder and CEO of m.Paani, raised $1.35 million in funding this year. The company designs and implements mobile-based loyalty programmes. Users of m.Paani earn points for their mobile phone usage or expenditure on select FMCG products. Points can then be monetised and used to buy products and services.
“Our loyalty platform is the critical digital pipe that enables our partners to understand and target mass-market, unorganised consumers intelligently, long-term, and in real-time,” she said in a press release.