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This March, much can be said of the lack of funding that female founders are able to acquire on their journey to fundraising. Funding in itself can be a difficult and arduous process, further amplified by harrowing statistics that reflect how little funding female founders are able to acquire. However, there is much being done to rectify and provide solutions to these issues. Take a look at some female-founded startups we’ve got our eyes on this month: Noggin HQ, Unfabled, Kaleido Rolls, Fearne & Rosie and Project Cece.
Karina Mazur – Pre-Seed
In particular, I want to cast light on a very early stage business – Noggin HQ. Founded by two ambitious, driven and motivated young women – Noggin HQ aims to put the agency back into credit referencing. With backing from Bethnal Green Ventures, this early-stage startup has already managed to secure significant partnerships, build out a community, and present forward facing plans for unprecedented growth. Whilst they are currently undergoing talks for investment, I wanted to highlight this business in particular because these two founders vested interest into democratizing the complicated world of credit – and paving the way for other young women their age. I’m definitely watching what happens next for Noggin HQ.
Another seed female founded business on my radar is Unfabled – a wellness store for menstrual care. Having previously closed a pre-seed round of over 350k, Hannah Samanto has brought her business into pop up locations, fostered a strong community, and is ready to take the next steps for her investment journey. Hannah’s dedication to the business shines through from the product to the technology and the branding. The business is in a trending space, and one that I will continue to watch in earnest.
It’s time to start shifting the statistics to better correlate with the positive future that these female founders have ahead of them. When I was growing up – I never considered becoming a businesswoman as a future career path. It’s time to ensure that the next generation of women know that it’s not only achievable, but likely for them as well.
Daniel Pawson – Venture
International Women’s Day shines a light on the array of inspirational female founders who are making waves in the business community every year. Although there is still much work to do on the representation of women in business, it has been great to be able to work with some of the incredible businesses they’ve created.
At Seedrs, female founded businesses have seen huge success, with over 250 businesses being funded. What’s also a positive sign of the times is that women make up 26% of our investors, which is 13% higher than in VCs. I hope this number continues to rise each year.
One female founded business in particular that has been intriguing me recently is Kaleido Rolls whose co-founder Laura Mimoun, hails from a background working for the likes of Mondelez & PepsiCo. Kaleido Rolls serves fresh, healthy salads that are rolled into cylinders using rice paper. As their tagline says “Healthy like a salad, playful like sushi & convenient like a sandwich”, a truly innovative and tasty way of eating healthier on the go.
Kaleido Rolls’ stand out colorful branding ensures they’ll catch your eye if you walk past, but if you’re wondering where to find them, they are currently in Canary Wharf, Soho, and they’ve just opened a new site in King’s Cross station! I predict exciting times ahead for Kaleido as they look to grow and bring their fun way of eating salads to more people, and with Laura at the helm, I have no doubt they’ll be very successful.
Katherine Gilroy – Diversity
In 2020, Seedrs signed up to the Investing in Women Code, meaning that we now track and monitor meaningful data on the gender diversity of the businesses we work with and ultimately fund. Our data review in 2021 confirmed something that we thought we already knew – food and beverage is our strongest sector for female founded or co-founded teams, and this is particularly true at seed stage.
One female F&B founder I’m watching this month is Rachel Kettlewell, founder of reduced-sugar jam brand Fearne & Rosie. The business is on a mission to reduce sugar-intake in families (up to 800 sugar cubes a year for a family of 4), by making a simple swap to their child-friendly jams*.
After a successful Dragon’s Den appearance in 2020, Fearne & Rosie went through a rebrand and partnered with Giles Brook, serial entrepreneur and an investor and advisor in FMCG brands such as Bear, Pip & Nut, Hip Chocolate and The Cheeky Panda.
Rachel has taken the brand from her kitchen table, to nationwide listings with Ocado and Waitrose, and local listings with Morrisons. The Grocer recently reported that in September ‘21 the brand saw 650% year on year growth.
I’ve worked personally with Rachel for a couple of months now, and I’m looking forward to seeing the next phase of growth for Fearne & Rosie – they are currently raising on the Seedrs platform and have already smashed their target of £150,000. Check out the pitch here.
*Can confirm they are adult-friendly too!
Bert Van Kerkhoven – Europe
This month I’m watching a startup that’s on a mission to create a fair fashion movement. Project Cece is a search engine for certified fair and sustainable clothing. Founders Melissa Wijngaarden, Marcella Wijngaarden and Noor Veenhoven launched the platform in 2017, while they were still students, after learning about the devastating impact of fast fashion on the environment.
The purpose of Project Cece is to aggregate all sustainable brands on one platform, making the shopping experience as frictionless as possible while enabling consumers to make more conscious choices. Their project started in Amsterdam and raised funding in 2019 from notable investors such as ASIF Ventures and Pitchdrive. Project Cece is already active in the Netherlands, UK and Germany. It’s their ambition to expand to more countries and become the platform with the largest number of curated sustainable fashion products.
View active campaigns and investing opportunities here.
Check out our investing insights on women in business here.