Feminine Founders Alliance raises a $10M fund, renames to Graham & Walker – TechCrunch

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Beginning as a Fb help group for founders, the Feminine Founders Alliance group has completed quite a lot of evolving and altering since its inception. Immediately, it publicizes a reputation change and the truth that it’s began writing checks out of its inaugural fund. With $10 million to play with, the newly minted Graham & Walker is focusing its consideration on “the potential of all girls in enterprise,” together with by community-building, investments and numerous applications.

The fund has its work lower out, too — even in a very frothy market. As VC Claire Diaz-Ortiz factors out in a column final month, solely 9% of all funds deployed to know-how startups went to founding groups that included at the very least one lady. Solo lady founders and all-women groups raised simply 2% of all VC {dollars}. So far as we’re conscious, Diaz-Ortiz will not be concerned with Graham & Walker, however echoing her sentiments: it’s encouraging to see initiatives like Graham & Walker coming into the image with an agenda to vary that.

“[Women founders] must be unleashed within the laborious native and world issues,” says Merrie Williamson, Company VP for Microsoft Azure Apps, Infrastructure & IOT — and an investor in Graham & Walker. “My participation on this fund is partly a nod to all girls and their potential.”

The title “Graham & Walker” is perhaps tripping you up, conjuring up old-school partnerships from days passed by. Shed your first impressions — the agency isn’t named after its founders or buyers, however consists of a sublime nod to influential girls in historical past.

“We all know that when folks first hear Graham & Walker, they think about that it’s named after two males, like a really old-school legislation agency,” explains Leslie Feinzaig, founder and managing director. “However if you dig deeper and see who we’re and what we do, that makes you query what impressed your individual assumption. The ampersand additionally has quite a lot of significance, it represents you and me, it represents our group.”

Particularly, the agency is known as after Katharine Graham — newspaper writer of The Washington Submit and the primary feminine CEO of a Fortune 500 firm — and Madam C. J. Walker, an African American lady who’s well known because the world’s first feminine self-made millionaire.

Graham & Walker team

The Graham & Walker group: Rohre Titcomb (COO) Es Famojure (program supervisor), Leslie Feinzaig (founder and managing director), Amanda Eldridge (VP of Enterprise Improvement), Divya Kakkad (VP of Advertising)

“An enormous motive for this rebrand is our personal evolution of seeing the world as binary (founders and non-founders) and realizing we’re all the identical particular person. It’s girls who need to take possession of their careers,” says Feinzaig. “Graham & Walker is a manner for us to develop into serving that lady at any level in her trajectory — not simply within the time she’s a founder however as an investor, advisor, company chief, board member and so forth.”

The fund began investing in early 2021. Early investments embody adoption facilitation software program PairTree, culturally conscious telehealth market Well being in Her Hue, eco-friendly dwelling and procuring group Brightly and knowledge market Datacy.

The fund’s buyers embody Financial institution of America, Carta and a slew of personal buyers. In complete, greater than 100 buyers contributed to the $10 million fund. Graham & Walker stories that two-thirds of the buyers are girls, a 3rd are folks of shade and virtually half of the buyers are first-time fund buyers.

Up to date: TechCrunch beforehand reported that the fund was $9M. The determine has been corrected to $10M after a spokesperson from Graham & Walker made us conscious of the error. 

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