Since the first International Women's Day in 1911, March 8th marks an opportunity for the world to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and recognize what still needs to be done. In honor of the day, we’re highlighting 7 underlying Greenspring Associates investments made by women in innovative companies run by women.
Trae Vassallo is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Defy, an early stage venture capital firm. She is an engineer, an entrepreneur and an investor, and her passion is collaborating with the world’s best entrepreneurs alongside her partners at Defy. Trae has public company experience, having been on the board of directors at Telstra, an international telecommunications company. She was previously a General Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Over her investing career, Trae invested in a number of leading companies including eero, Molekule, Nest Labs, Dropcam, Aggregate Knowledge and Opower. A "design thinker" and engineer at heart, Trae thrives at the intersection of great products and big markets. Before joining KPCB, Trae was a Co-Founder of Good Technology, a KPCB portfolio company that provides end-to-end wireless email services to the enterprise. Trae began her career at IDEO, where she developed ground-breaking products for companies including Palm and Dell. Trae holds 13 patents across a broad array of technologies and disciplines.
Trae strives to empower women in technology. In addition to Defy, she co-hosts Equity Summit, an annual event that brings $2T of AUM together for relationship building and authentic conversation between leading LPs and women GPs. In 2015, Trae co-authored the study "Elephant in the Valley" to help highlight the underlying data around the experiences of women in technology. Trae earned a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in mechanical engineering with honors from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Trae participated on the Trust of the Stanford Business School and as an advisor to the Mechanical Engineering Department at Stanford. In addition to working with inspiring entrepreneurs, Trae is passionate about adventuring with her husband, Steve, and three children.
About Elevate Security
Elevate Security is focused on the human element - measuring, influencing and reducing human risk. Using data companies already have, Elevate Security scores employee risk based on their security actions, showing actionable trends while delivering personalized communications that nudge employees to improve security habits unique to them. Elevate Security gives CISOs the power to turn every employee into a security superhero, and equips the organization to succeed against today’s people centered risk. Enterprise customers across industries, from healthcare to software, have seen employee detection and reporting of attacks improve by 5x or more.
Annie is a seasoned investor and operator who joined Redpoint in 2018 to work with founders of early-stage businesses. She has a strong track record of backing great entrepreneurs in the earliest innings and recognizing emergent consumer technology trends well before they become popular. She currently serves on the board of directors of Redpoint portfolio companies Bravado, Guild Education, Ike, Tend and Tundra. Prior to Redpoint, Annie spent over four years at Charles River Ventures, where she sourced or led investments in ClassPass, DoorDash and Patreon at the seed and series A stages. She has been named on both the Forbes 30 Under 30 and Midas Brink lists.
Annie also worked at Bain & Company, Warby Parker and at Uber Freight, where as Head of Strategic Operations she helped scale the business from 20 to several hundred people and from zero to $100+ million run-rate. Annie holds a B.A. and M.A. from Stanford University in Biology and Organizational Business, respectively, and an M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business. Annie is also an angel investor to companies that include Atrium, Modern Fertility and Tonal. She lives in San Francisco, CA with her husband, daughter, and dog.
Ike is building technology to automate the safe and reliable highway transportation of freight. Automation is going to matter to everyone and Ike believes that we have a responsibility to make sure it is well designed, carefully tested and makes people’s lives better. Ike takes that responsibility very seriously and is building trucking technology with people in mind from the start. Ike envisions a world where automated trucks powered by the Company's technology will focus on highway driving. Ike knows that driving a truck is a tough job, and that truckers do so much more than sit in the cab and steer a wheel. That’s why the more complex and high value leg of the journey to and from the highway will need drivers in manually driven trucks. Ike cares about safer roads, high-skilled jobs for high-skilled people, massively increasing the efficiency in our freight transportation system, and better connecting our American cities and towns. Trucking is the industry that connects all of us and Ike's mission is to realize a future where trucks will be safer, truckers more valued, and trucking more productive.
Natalie Massenet is co-founder and co-Managing Partner of Imaginary Ventures, a venture fund investing in early-stage retail businesses across beauty, food, fashion, lifestyle and wellness. Natalie is also non-executive co-Chairman of Farfetch, a global e-commerce platform for luxury fashion. Imaginary combines two powerful assets: Natalie’s experience of building a start-up business into a multi-billion dollar global retailer, and co-founder Nick Brown’s track record as an early-stage investor in direct-to-consumer businesses (Goop, Warby Parker, Everlane). Natalie is best known for founding the luxury fashion online retailer, Net-A-Porter, in 2000. The following decade saw her build one of the world’s most influential retail businesses including net-a-porter.com, theoutnet.com, mrporter.com and The Net Set. In the year before Natalie stepped down from her role following the YOOX Net-A-Porter merger, the Net-A-Porter-Group recorded revenues of almost $1 billion. Natalie began her career as a journalist and fashion editor, working at WWD and Tatler before setting up Net-A-Porter. In 2009, Natalie was named one of the Most Influential People by Time Magazine, and in 2016 she was made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II; in recognition of her contributions to the fashion and retail industry. Natalie was Chairman of the British Fashion Council between 2013-2017, and was appointed a UK DTI Business Ambassador in March 2016.
Mejuri is a digitally native, global, fine jewelry brand built with a fast supply chain at an affordable price, founded by a third-generation fine jeweler, Noura Sakkijha and her husband, Majed Masad. The Toronto-based brand captures millennial women’s penchant for affordable jewelry bought by themselves, rather than diamonds and precious stones for special occasions purchased for them by others.
Dana Settle is a Founding Partner with Greycroft, and she heads the firm’s west coast office out of Los Angeles. Prior to Greycroft, Dana spent several years as a venture capitalist and advisor to startup companies in the Bay Area, including six years at Mayfield, where she focused on early stage companies in the mobile communications and consumer Internet markets. Dana currently manages Greycroft’s investments in Anine Bing, AppAnnie, Bird, Clique, Comparably, Goop, Happiest Baby, Seed, Thrive Market, Versed and WideOrbit. She also managed the firm’s investments in Awesomeness TV (acquired by Dreamworks), Maker Studios (acquired by Disney), Pulse (acquired by LinkedIn), TheRealReal (IPO), Trunk Club (acquired by Nordstrom), Sometrics (acquired by American Express), Viddy (acquired by Fullscreen), and Voicea (acquired by Cisco). Dana also serves as a Board Director to IMAX Corporation. Her additional experience includes business development at Truveo (AOL), investment banking at Lehman Brothers and international business development at McCaw Cellular Communications (AT&T).
Dana holds a BA in Finance and International Studies from the University of Washington and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
About The RealReal
In 2011, Julie Wainwright started The RealReal out of her home, working at her kitchen table and visiting consignors at their homes with a U-Haul. What began as a scrappy startup has transformed the business of authenticated luxury consignment into a dynamic, global movement that champions not only quality and craftsmanship, but also sustainability and community. Now, The RealReal is a company with millions of shoppers and consignors, three retail stores in New York and Los Angeles and nine Luxury Consignment Offices across the country, three of which are in their stores. From women’s, men’s and kids’ fashion to fine jewelry, watches, fine art and home decor, The RealReal is curating the world’s largest and most trusted marketplace for authenticated luxury.
Talia Goldberg joined Bessemer in 2012 and is the youngest elected partner in the firm’s history. She is based in the San Francisco office where she focuses on early and growth stage software, consumer, and marketplace investments. In 2018, she was named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 for Venture Capital.
Prior to joining Bessemer, Talia worked at Foursquare, a location-based mobile company, and Simple Finance, a consumer-facing mobile banking solution (acquired by BBVA). While in school, Talia was a founding partner of the Dorm Room Fund, First Round Capital’s student-run investment fund that now has investment committees across the U.S. She was also on the founding team of an adaptive and personalized learning startup. Through Parity Partners, Talia is a pod leader and mentor for rising female VCs and entrepreneurs. Talia graduated summa cum laude with honors from the University of Pennsylvania where she created her own major between the Wharton School of Business and the College of Arts & Sciences.
Founded in 2013, Shippo provides a leading web app for shipping designed for growing small and medium-sized online retailers; and connects seamlessly to e-commerce platforms, marketplaces, and warehouses. The company helps more than 35,000 business get real-time shipping rates, print labels, automate international paperwork, track packages, facilitate returns and more. Shippo’s multi-carrier platform provides access to 50+ carriers and helps businesses navigate the complexities of shipping so that they can achieve their highest potential. To date, the company has helped businesses ship more than 80 million packages.
Stacey is a Partner at Scale Venture Partners, where she invests in business applications driving the Intelligent Connected World. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Abstract, Airspace, AllyO (observer), Demandbase, Extole, Lever, Namely (observer), Narvar (observer), and Textio. Prior board positions include HubSpot (NYSE: HUBS), Bizible (Acq: Marketo) and Vitrue (Acq: Oracle). Stacey also originated investments in ExactTarget, acquired by Salesforce, and Omniture, acquired by Adobe.
Stacey is a founding member of All Raise and an advisor to The University Growth Fund. Prior to Scale, Stacey specialized in M&A within Bank of America’s Corporate Development Group, worked in equity research at Morgan Stanley and began her career as an account manager at Syntel. Stacey holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA from The University of Michigan.
Founded in Seattle in 2014 by Kieran Snyder and Jensen Harris, Textio is the world’s leading augmented writing platform. In a short time, Textio has been widely adopted by enterprises around the world, including Procter & Gamble, IBM, McDonald’s, Johnson & Johnson, Nestlé, Cisco, Union Bank, American Express, Virgin Atlantic, Credit Suisse, Twitter and Slack.
“At a time when more than two-thirds of families with young children have dual working parents, it is imperative that we solve the early childcare crisis by empowering women, keeping them in the workforce and supporting them when they decide to have kids. As a female CEO with two kids under 3 and an early childcare startup supporting working women either as parents or childcare providers, it is our mission to support our community, one family and one female at a time.” - Jessica Chang
Eva is a General Partner at Fika Ventures, an early stage technology fund investing in companies that leverage the power of data as a core component of their business model. Prior to Fika, Eva was a founding GP at Susa Ventures. She is a serial entrepreneur and founder, with a company experience portfolio including Applied Semantics (AdSense), Factual, Google, Youtube and Navigating Cancer. She is active in the non-profit sector, serving on the boards of California Community Foundation and UCLA Technology Development Group. She was recently the EIR for the city of Los Angeles working with Mayor Eric Garcetti and his team. Eva holds an MBA from Cornell and a BA from Harvard.
WeeCare was founded in 2017 by Jessica Chang, Jesse Forrest, and Matt Reilly with a mission to transform the fragmented $57 billion dollar daycare industry by providing all families access to safe, affordable, nurturing, education-based childcare. WeeCare empowers educators from diverse backgrounds to start and manage their own home daycare business. The all-in-one platform aims to simplify the operational aspects of running a home daycare for caregivers, allowing them to seamlessly fill to capacity and efficiently run a licensed home daycare directly from their phone. You can hear more about their mission in this PBS segment.
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