In the first half of this year, Indian startups have raised $3.5B funding. According to data compiled by YourStory, startups had raised $1.7 billion in Q1 2015 alone. The number of deals in Q2 2015 has increased by 50% from the previous quarter.
However, when we look at businesses with women at the helm — startups founded and run solely by women, the number is small and when we talk of the ones who have received funding, it does not even cross single digits. Here are some that we know:
Aditi Avasthi– Aditi’s brainchild embibe.com, an online test prep portal started in 2012 is based out of Mumbai. When she was preparing for her entrance exams, she thought that better guidance and availability of study material would have helped her get through what she aspired for. This led her to start up.
She says, “Embibe has been created to personalize the crucial mentoring and academic guidance needed by young people in India – a country where one number can define your access to college. It is very important for every student to feel that he/she got an equal shot at the exam.”
With over 15000 students onboard already, embibe has raised $4 million from Kalaari capital and Lightbox.
Amna Abbasi– “I saw a lot of my female friends facing the common problem of closet overflow. Being impulsive shoppers by nature, we were spending a lot on clothes and not wearing them,” says Amna Abbasi, Founder and CEO of Etashee. Etashee.com serves as an online portal where one can sell apparels that are new but have not been used.
Amna started Etashree in November 2014 and has already raised 5 crores from a Delhi based business group.
Currently she has an 18 member team spread across Noida and Delhi.
Arpita Ganesh– The Founder of Bengaluru based Buttercups, a lingerie brand that had successfully initiated crowd funding early last year. Often called as the ‘Indian bra queen’, Arpita through her company has personally catered to more than 3000 women and aims to make sure every woman in India is capable of making educated choices when it comes to choosing their intimate wear.
The venture has recently raised angel funds from the likes of Kanwaljit Singh, Angie Mahtaney and a few others.
The Indian lingerie sector is growing at 42% a year (CAGR) and Buttercups aims to capture a significant chunk of the market. The angel funding is being used for brand development, to enhance backend manufacturing and help Buttercups expand its product offering. The company will be focusing as much on customer education as providing quality products.
Falguni Nayyar– With an experience of over 25 years in the stream of financial planning, Falguni let go of her job in order to begin her startup. Three years ago she launched Nykaa, an online beauty and wellness portal.
Last year the company raised $3.4 million (INR 20 crores) through private investors including HNIs and NRIs to boost the expansion plans of the brand in the omni-channel retail space, including mobile.
Nidhi Agarwal– Nidhi had a vision of bridging the gap between western formals and Indian silhouette. She wanted to be the leading brand in western wear and that led her to startup Kaaryah.
She had such high faith in her startup that getting 113 rejections did not deter her spirits. The wait was worth it. Ratan Tata invested in Kaaryah.
Preeta Sukhtankar– Preeta started The Label Corp in the year of 2012. The Label Corp, taps into the expertise of celebrities to curate products. The Label Corp, has three brands called The Home Label with Suzanne Khan, The Closet Label with Malaika Arora Khan and The Trunk Label with Bipasha Basu.
The Label Corp has raised around $1-2 million from Kalaari Capital around august 2013.
Vishakha Singh– Is the founder of Red Polka, an online fashion and lifestyle curator portal, which provides a platform for sellers to showcase their designs to target audiences.
It raised an angel round of about 1.6 crore rupees from 5 investors.
Know any women led ventures that have raised funding? Tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org