There’s one statistic we can’t seem to shake when it comes to gender equality — namely, a lack thereof — in the tech industry: of all the venture capital deals inked in the United States this year, little more than two percent will go to companies founded by women.
And if a female founder does manage to beat the odds the first time around, they’re still stacked against her when she goes for her second — only two percent of companies with all-women founders raise a follow-up investment round, compared with 35 percent of companies founded exclusively by men.
Yesterday, The Riveter — Seattle’s homegrown coworking space and membership network built by women — joined the two percent of two percent, raising a $15 million Series A led by Los Angeles venture firm Alpha Edison.
“The Riveter’s entire business is built on our vision of a world in which equality of opportunity in work is not a promise, but is a reality,” founder and CEO Amy Nelson said in a statement. “That world is coming into focus, though slowly enough that our raise is a statistical outlier.”
The Riveter’s entire business is built on our vision of a world in which equality of opportunity in work is not a promise, but is a reality.”
The company, which runs five coworking spaces in Seattle and Los Angeles, will use the funding to accelerate its growth across the U.S. and build out its digital platform. The Riveter will push east in 2019, with new locations planned for Texas and New York City. The Riveter started at its Capitol Hill location in 2017, and now has additional spaces in Fremont and Bellevue. The latter opened its doors in September.
“Our company’s rapid growth over the past 18 months signals a significant market demand for workspaces, a connected network and programming that moves business forward,” Nelson said.
The Riveter made sure to seek funding from male and female investors. A full 55 percent of the firms involved in this Series A are lead by women, including Women’s Venture Capital Fund, Backstage Capital, The Helm and Gingerbread Capital.
“Recognizing that women represent only nine percent of venture capital investors in the U.S., we wanted to change the ratio and partner with female investors at every funding level,” Nelson said.
Madrona Venture Group also participated in the round, which brings The Riveter’s funding total above $20 million.