💸 Guild Education Raises $175M Series F at $4.4B Valuation
FemWealth Issue #63
Happy Sunday, FemWealth Friends!
It’s been an eventful week for women’s representation in politics and business - from Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee to Sheryl Sandberg’s decision to step down from her position as Meta’s COO after a 14-year tenure. Here are the best highlights:
Guild Education, an education and upskilling platform co-founded and led by Rachel Romer Carlson, has closed a Series F funding round of $175 million, at $4.4 billion (up from a previous $3.75 billion). The round was led by Wellington Management and included Oprah Winfrey.
“We just hit this massive inflection point where the market—not just the innovative companies, every company—is now saying we have to do this.” - Rachel Romer Carlson, referring to investing in worker reskilling and education benefits
Guild is on a mission to unlock economic opportunity for the American workforce through education and skilling by bridging the gap between education and employment.
Carlson owns about 14% of the company and has an estimated net worth of $570 million, according to Forbes.
FemWealth Favorites ❤️
Politics: 👑 Queen Elizabeth II: A visual timeline of her 70 years on the throne - Queen Elizabeth II became queen in February 1952, at age 25. She is the longest-reigning queen and one of the top three longest-reigning monarchs in recorded history.
🇦🇺 Australia: Record number of women in Albanese’s first cabinet - In Prime Minister Albanese’s 23-member cabinet, there will be a record 10 women.
Startups: 💸 Sanlo, a startup that offers app and game developers access to financial tools and capital, raises $10M - Co-founded and led by Olya Caliujnaia, Sanlo provides non-dilutive capital to businesses developing gaming and consumer apps.
“We’re a technology company, not a fund. That allows us to move quickly and be transparent about how we work and how we arrive at the products that we build and offer to customers. We’re also building a full stack of products, it’s not just about growth capital. Developers have other options via publishers, VCs and banks, but those usually involve complex and lengthy processes.” - Olya Caliujnaia
💸 Athleisure icon Ty Haney raises $9.8M in fresh funding for her blockchain rewards startup - Try Your Best (TYB), founded and led by Ty Haney, uses blockchain technology to help brands build customer loyalty. | 🎧Find out more.
“I’m very passionate about bringing this younger, in particular, younger female audience into the web3 space because of the potential for real financial upside,” Haney said. “And for me, there’s no better way to do that than by the brands that they love.”
💸 SpectrumAi Announces $9 Million in Seed Funding to Innovate Autism Care - The digital health company, co-founded by Ling Shao (CEO) and Elizabeth Bigham (COO), develops innovative solutions in the autism space. Shao is the mother of four children on the autism spectrum. She is on a mission to modernize and democratize access to quality care for all kids on the spectrum.
💸 Hormonal Health Startup Hormona Raises £1.2M in Pre-Seed Funding to Prepare for Launch in Europe and the U.S. - The London-based digital health startup, co-founded by Karolina Löfqvist (CEO) and Jasmine Tagesson (COO), is developing a proprietary at-home urine test, designed to measure three hormones in less than 15 minutes to “empower women with information that helps them to be able to understand and manage their hormones with confidence.”
“Hormona was created to empower women to live healthier and happier lives in harmony with their hormones.” - Karolina Löfqvist
💸 Sexual Health Startup Choix Raises $1 Million in Venture Capital - Co-founded and led by Cindy Adam, US-based startup Choix offers reproductive and sexual health care services, including morning-after and abortion pills and treatment for urinary tract infections.
“I almost try on a daily basis to completely forget the statistics. Because those statistics can paralyze you. And as a founder, you have to be fearless. You have to charge forward.”
“As a Black woman, I am always working from the mindset that I have to solve my own problems. I’m always conscious about burn. And so I think for founders who are very conscious of the fundamentals are at a bit of an advantage right now. We’ve already engineered ourselves to be able to survive tough times.” - Julia Collins
VC: 💸 Hannah Grey launches its $52M inaugural fund - Hannah Grey, a US-based VC firm founded and led by Kate Beardsley and Jessica Peltz-Zatulove, has closed its oversubscribed inaugural fund with $51.6M in capital commitments from several LPs, including Screendoor Partners, JPMorgan, Twitter, Carta, Stagwell Group, Insight Partners, Equity Alliance a.o. Focused on pre-seed and seed rounds, Hannah Grey writes checks ranging from $400,000 to $1M to back “customer-centric founders redefining everyday experiences.” Its portfolio includes learning platform Subject, period care company August, digital medical records company Credo Health, and emotional health company Wave.
💸 Zinc heads toward new $41M tech-for-good fund to back pre-team talent solving big problems - Co-founded in 2017 by Ella Goldner, the London-based accelerator for diverse-led, ESG-focused companies has hit the first close of its second fund with $34M (£28M). The company aims for a final close of $41M (£33M) to invest in startups building commercial solutions to some of society’s biggest challenges.
“Rather than waiting for good companies to appear, Zinc helps individuals (before they have a business idea or a team) to build from scratch a new commercially ambitious company to solve the social challenge that they are most passionate about.” - Ella Goldner
💸 Precursor Ventures’ first hire just spun out to start her own venture firm - Sydney Thomas, previously a Principal at Precursor Ventures is starting her own venture firm (currently unnamed).
🎥 Backing Female Entrepreneurs in a Down Market - An excellent interview with Anu Duggal, Founding Partner of Female Founders Fund, on investing in women-founded businesses during an economic downturn.
🎧 How investors are playing offense right now (their words, our two cents) - with Mandela SH Dixon, CEO of All Raise
“We are so used to not having access to this influx of capital that we have already adjusted and built muscles and capacity to weather a lot of storms (…) We as women, and as women of color, have a long history of weathering storms, so this isn’t new to us.”
Web3: 🌐 Why web3 companies get hacked so often, according to crypto VC Grace Isford - Lux Capital’s investor, Grace Isford, shares her insights on Web3 infrastructure.
“I think one of the biggest opportunities in crypto right now is still security, if you can build more reliable smart contracts at scale … but you can’t have a reliable system if it’s not secure, right? And you can’t run a system securely if you don’t know who’s within that system, so I think security is probably one of the most important pieces from a prioritization standpoint.” - Grace Isford
Finance: 💸 Beat The Market By Investing In Freedom – And Shunning Places Like Russia And China - Features money manager Perth Tolle, Founder of Freedom Index Fund
“Freer markets have more sustainable growth. They recover faster from drawdowns and they use their capital and labor more efficiently,” Tolle says. “I always expected that they would outperform, but I didn’t expect it to play out this quickly.” - Perth Tolle
Women’s Health: 👏 Nature journals raise the bar on sex and gender reporting in research - Reasearchers who submit papers to a subset of Nature journals will be required to state whether and how sex and gender were considered in their study design, or to indicate that no sex and gender analyses were carried out, and clarify why.
“Hope is all about action. Roll up your sleeves and get out and do something.” - Dr. Jane Goodall
What I’m Reflecting On
From Bombs To Birth: A Pregnant Mom’s Journey From War-Torn Ukraine - When the war began, Anya Chernets Radomsky fled her home in a Kyiv suburb. Weeks later, she gave birth to her daughter Elizabeth Grace, one of the first babies born in the US to a Ukrainian refugee of the ongoing war.
““It will just be a pinch” has been said so often by gynecologists it loses meaning, like a word that turns into gibberish after too much repetition.”
“I truly believe the ‘girlboss’ term was created to celebrate an emerging wave of female leaders—which is still rare in business, and was even rarer around 10 years ago when the phrase was popularized. However, I think it’s time for all of us to move beyond gendered language when we talk about leadership, and instead focus on celebrating the qualities of great leaders regardless of gender: passion, integrity, focus, contentiousness, and a willingness to grow and change with the needs of the company.” - Kirsten Green, Founding Partner at Forerunner Ventures
“By conflating all management mistakes as equal, we lose sight of each individual issue we’re trying to remedy – and by calling Weiss a “girlboss,” we risk discouraging women in leadership roles from taking risks, learning and growing. We also perpetuate the erasure of women of color in tech.” - Amanda Silberling & Anita Ramaswamy, TechCrunch Reporters
Sheryl Sandberg Will Leave Meta After 14 Years - Meta Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg will step down in the fall, stating that she wants to make philanthropic work her “top priority.” In recent years, the executive and author of Lean In has been the subject of numerous controversies. Read more.
Thank you for reading FemWealth! 🥰 Wish you a lovely Sunday and an exciting week ahead!
Founder & Writer of FemWealth
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