As entrepreneurship as a career choice continues to grow in popularity, more women can be seen in accelerator and incubator programs gaining business experience to translate their innovative ideas into new products and services. However, even though the gender gap is slowly narrowing, the bias and stereotypes about women as startup founders are still present, thus, here are 4 women-led technology companies that can easily dispel these myths:
Total equity funding: $9.28 million
Founded in 2013 by Laura Behrens Wu and Simon Kreuz, Shippo is an API solution for businesses, where the platform acts as a middleman between merchants and couriers like FedEx and UPS. The company negotiates the creation of shipping labels, provides customers with the best available commercial rates, as well as ensuring that both postage and delivery run as smoothly as possible through tracking API.
Not long ago, Shippo closed their Series A round of investment, passing what is often considered as one of the toughest challenges in a startup journey. Shippo's client base currently consists of over 10,000 companies, so when the company started showing signs of stable growth, it was the time to start raising capital.
In an interview with Techcrunch, Laura Behrens Wu admitted that when it comes to investors, not many are ready to consider funding the shipping sector, which may be less exciting than others, unless they are ready to look deeper at a new product and problems that it may solve. And with that, Shippo was lucky to get the right backers.
Laura Behrens Wu has been recently recognized by Forbes' '30 under 30 Enterprise Tech List' for being capable of creating innovative software and for working closely with many of the biggest Fortune 500 companies.
Total equity funding: $40.6 million
Accompany is an app that can turn your working calendar into one of your most important assistants during the working day. Founded by Amy Chang, the youngest board member at CISCO and former Product Executive at Google, the app she co-created may become the next big sensation in the business world. The service can access your calendar, emails, and contacts, where algorithms eliminate hours of pre-brief or pre-meeting research by extracting all the necessary information from your device and presenting it in a user-friendly format.
Informally known as 'your chief of staff', once the platform is finished with processing your data, it sends you an email with the briefing information about the person, dates, and location of the upcoming meeting or business occasion.
Total equity funding: $127.3 million
Having introduced an innovative iPad-based point of sale, Revel Systems and its founders Lisa Falzone and Christopher Ciabarra are on the path to success. The point of sale systems (POS) are not new, however, the startup claims their product offers the most advanced technology in the sector.
The company offers a customizable platform, where the backend is easily manageable from either a mobile device or web browser. Revel Systems found themselves especially useful in the food and retail industries, where business and order management became more efficient through kitchen display systems, drive through points of sale, and electronic cashiers.
Falzone and Ciabarra came up with the POS in 2010, at a time when the old-fashioned point of sale systems created more problems than benefits for both businesses and customers. The cloud and applications only had only just started to be recognized, and most conventional systems couldn't adapt. So, by spotting the gap in the market and using the opportunity, Revel Systems built their iPad-based system to promptly meet client demand.
Total equity funding: $182.05 million
Founded by Michelle Zaytlin and Matthew Prince in 2009, Cloudflare is not your average content delivery network (CDN). They claim to see over 5% of the world's internet traffic, as well as providing some critical security to the modern business environment.
As a CDN provider, Cloudflare is about improving user experience when loading pages, allowing for greater speed. The service also ensures the journey from one web page to another is safe and that a client's website is protected from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, which can easily bring the website, platform, or connected device down. The service is critical if a client deals with a large amount of data and traffic, and wants to get hold of an all-in-one solution for their websites or platforms.
Not long ago, the company introduced Accelerated Mobile Links which customers can use free of charge on their website, as a non-Google alternative to Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Cloudflare took a step forward as when a person clicks through to one of the AMP pages, they are not transferred to the original source of the AMP. Instead, they can enjoy a popup window with news or information, which they can easily get rid of by closing the window, without leaving the initial page they are on.
Prior to Cloudflare, Co-founder and Head of UE, Michelle Zaytlin worked at Google and Toshiba. Michelle is regularly portrayed as one of the most influential women in technology in many media and tech circles.
Join over 100 female entrepreneurs and leaders at the Women In Strategy Summit, taking place in New York this March 21 & 22.