Fund helps women-owned companies flourish

When you look into the future, says Anu Duggal, you're going to see large consumer companies started by women.

And if they don't get access to that first round of capital, it's going to be incredibly difficult for them to scale.

That's what inspired Anu to start Female Founders Fund in 2014.

F3 is an early stage technology fund, investing in companies started by female founders.

And they're companies you've seen here on Fox 5.

There's Shan-Lyn Ma's Zola, the fastest growing wedding registry and wedding planning company, serving the two million couples getting married every year.

There's also Rachel Blumenthal's kids' clothing company, Rockets of Awesome.

It's an e-commerce site and personalized shopping service that captures preferences from customers and then sends them a box of 12 items four times a year at the beginning of every season.

And there's Jenn Hyman's and Jenny Fleiss' Rent the Runway. Their goal is that every woman in this country has their closet in the cloud.

Female Founders Fund is small.

They're a team of just three.

But they are mighty.

Their first fund was $5.85 million.

Their second fund, which launched last year, is $27 million, all to back the female businesses of the future.

Anu says once they make a decision to back a company or to invest, F3 then works with that company.

F3 makes introductions, helps them to raise their next round of financing, and really connects female founders within the broader ecosystem of female founders based here in New York.

It's an ecosystem that's growing exponentially.

A 'Series A' is the first round of institutional financing.

In 2013, here in New York, Anu says there was just one 'Series A', led by a female founder.

It was actually Shan-Lyn Ma of Zola.

Just five years later, in 2018, there were 18 'Series A' led by female founders.

There were also some massive later rounds.

Zola raised $100 million, The Wing raised $75 million, Away raised $50 million, and Glossier also raised about $50 million.

It may have surprised some people, but not F3.

Anu says they are betting on the fact that the future will be built by women.