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2017 is just about to end and I feel that there’s never been a better time to be a woman in the startup world. Though, even today venture capital firms are made up of mostly men among whom some continue to suggest women aren’t cut out for the tech world at all. Despite these gender issues, a recent data has shown that women-led technology companies are more capital-efficient, achieving 35 percent higher return on investment. Fortunately, born as God’s great design, more and more women are seen building multimillion-dollar startups, and venture firms like WayUp, inDinero, Mogul, Mydala.com, Infibeam.com, ShopClues.com, YourStory Media Pvt.Ltd, The League, and the list goes on. And it’s paying off, the following year saw numerous female founders launching their companies and raise millions to help them grow.
Looking at Women entrepreneur based startups to watch in 2017, I narrowed the lens to 10 impressive female founders that are blazing trails to make women entrepreneurs no longer the exception but the rule.
Since its inception in 2014 by Liz Wessel and J.J. Fliegelman, WayUp excels in connecting college students with part-time, summer and entry-level job and internship opportunities. Previously named as Campus Job, the company acts as a marketplace for college students especially the ones looking for internships and jobs.
According to WayUp reports, half a million students and recent grads use the platform and they are signing up 10,000 new users per week. In fact, Wessel and Fliegelman have also managed to raise $7.8 million for the company after graduating from the prestigious startup accelerator.
Founded by Jessica Mah and Andy Su, the company provides accounting services and software for businesses. Initially, inDinero faced a few bumps in the road but as of now the company is doing pretty well and the Y Combinator-incubated company has raised an estimated $10 million from investors. inDinero is a one-stop-shop back-office solution. They service businesses as small as two employees with no revenue all the way up to businesses with 100 employees and 8-figure revenues.
3. Traveling Spoon
Co-founded by Aashi Vel and Stephanie Lawrence, Travelling spoon connects foodies with local host around the world, i.e. in 38 cities across 15 countries, across south and southeastern Asia as well as Japan. Aashi and Stephanie first met at business school in 2011. They believed in the power of travel to make the world a smaller, better place and wanted to help travelers experience authentic, meaningful, and delicious travel experiences around the world.
This thought gave rise to the launch of the company after graduating in 2013, and haven’t looked back since.
Here’s an irony! When Tiffany Pham moved to the U.S she didn’t know a word of English. Being a Yale and Harvard business school graduate, Pham is the founder and CEO of Mogul, an award-winning technology platform that enables women worldwide to share ideas, solicit advice, and access content based on their personal interests.
Also known as a hub for women around the world, Mogul reaches 18.6MM women per week from 196 countries and 30,470 cities. It may quite interest you to know that Pham co-authored the book From Business Strategy to Information Technology Roadmap, published by CRC Press. Which ultimately inspired her to teach herself how to code Ruby on Rails, and subsequently led her to code the first iteration of the Mogul platform in 2014.
Established in 2012, Kellee Khalil came up with this e-commerce engine that allows brides, grooms, and enthusiasts to discover wedding ideas, receive tips, purchase wedding products, evaluate who to hire for their weddings and share their findings. In 2015 Loverly expanded into e-commerce. According to reports, Loverly has experienced 400% year-over-year reach. The startup has raised an estimated $6 million to-date. Kellee is also the author of the Loverly Wedding Planner.
According to online studies conducted earlier this year for rankings on female entrepreneurship, India went up on the list compared to its position in 2013! Here I would like to mention a few successful women entrepreneurs in India that have made a mark in the startup ecosystem.
After kicking off her career on Capital Hill, Anisha Singh Founded Mydala.com, India’s largest coupon provider. Having dealt with her share of ups and downs, Anisha has successfully powered through with her founding team still intact and company at the top of its game even today. She holds a Masters degree in political communication, as well as an MBA in Information Systems from American University in Washington DC.
Post a grandly successful career of over 25 years in financial services, Falguni Nayyar took the entrepreneurial plunge and launched Nykaa.com, a beauty and wellness ecommerce, premier platform for women. The IIM Ahmedabad graduate launched her website in 2012 and soon enough Nykaa was already boasting of retail partnerships with the world’s top-notch personal care corporations like Unilever, P&G, L’Oreal, Beiersdorf, Johnson & Johnson and going on to raise 20 crores in funding from private investors with plans to expand to new technologies, a mobile app and physical stores in the country.
Founded by Neeru Sharma, Infibeam.com today is considered as one of India’s leading ecommerce portals across the globe. Neeru holds an MBA from Carnegie Mellon and an Engineering degree in Computer Science and has previously worked with Amazon USA in corporate development and media retail. In its past, Infibeam is known to have acquired Picsquare.com, a personalized photo printing website and just this year it acquired Odigma, a digital marketing company for USD 5 million.
9. YourStory Media Pvt.Ltd
Born and brought up in Patna, Bihar, Shradha Sharma founded YourStory Media Pvt.Ltd, India’s top media platform for entrepreneurs for promoting and reporting about startups and everything in around the entrepreneurial ecosystem. After working with the likes of The Times of India and CNBC TV18, Shradha noticed that the young entrepreneurs had no platform to voice their side of things. At last, she started YourStory as a blog applying all the business practices she ever learned from working with newspapers and TV channels. As a result, it has become the most referential and go-to platform for all entrepreneurs and investors in India to read about themselves or and their colleagues.
I am sure you must have heard of the famous travel portal. But do you know who is its co-founder? Sabina Chopra created this online travel commerce and soon grew to become the leading portal in this space. Before starting Yatra, she was the head of the India operations of eBookers, Europe’s leading online travel company. Moreover, she has also worked with airline companies such as Japan Airlines as well as in the business process outsourcing sector. Sabina has also been honored during the second annual Women Leaders in India Awards, 2010 and was declared the winner in the Travel & Tourism group.
In a nutshell,
The list does not end here… I am sure there are plenty of awe-inspiring women in the entrepreneurial circle whose leadership have popularized the image of women in high-level roles and opened the door for a conversation about the need for more female leadership in tech and beyond.