Meet seven women entrepreneurs who successfully took their tech companies public.
From scaling their startups to looking for venture capital, female founders have made strides to level the male-dominated tech playing field. Each year, we see more women entrepreneurs in the tech space, and numbers are only expected to grow.
Female-led tech IPOs have also become more common in recent years, but there’s still plenty of progress to be made before the startup world achieves gender parity.
For instance, only four out of 442 U.S. IPOs that occurred in 2020 were led by women who founded those companies. Going public can be a great way for businesses to gain exposure to the open market, attract more capital to grow, and improve liquidity. However, the IPO gender gap ultimately makes it harder for female entrepreneurs to exit their companies and build wealth.
Empowering women in tech is a cause that my team at KB Financial Advisors is wholeheartedly invested in. Beyond being female founded, a majority of our individual clientele are women, and we’re committed to helping them achieve financial independence and freedom. Recognizing women who’ve increased female representation in tech IPOs is a step towards our goal.
So without further ado, meet seven women who’ve successfully taken their tech businesses from inception to IPO.
Meet the founders:
1. Ann Marie Sastry
IPO date: September 2020
This Michigan-based artificial intelligence software company works to improve learning. Amesite partners with educational institutions and businesses to deliver disruptive technology driven by AI.
Ann Marie Sastry founded the company in 2017. Previously, she co-founded solid-state battery company Sakti3, which Dyson acquired for $90 million in 2015.
2. Whitney Wolfe Herd
IPO date: February 2021
Founded in 2014, Bumble’s inception was inspired by Whitney Wolfe Herd‘s idea to create a woman-centric social network. The original concept evolved into one of the largest dating apps on the market, unique for giving women the power to make the first move on matches. The app also offers opportunities for users to find friends and make business connections.
The majority of Bumble’s board is composed of women, and its founder holds the record for the youngest female CEO to take her company public, having done so at 31.
3. Diane Greene
IPO date: August 2007
Diane Greene co-founded software company VMWare in 1998, and sold it to EMC in 2004. The company went on to go public with Greene at its helm. Following her 2008 departure from VMWare, Greene became CEO of Google Cloud until 2019, and has served on the board for the likes of Alphabet, Intuit, SAP, and Stripe.
Currently Greene serves as a Chairman of the Corporation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, her alma mater.
4. Therese Tucker
IPO date: October 2016
Enterprise software company BlackLine develops cloud-based services designed to automate and control the entire financial close process. Founded in 2001, the Los Angeles-based business has 11 offices worldwide.
Before launching the company, Therese Tucker spent more than 25 years working in financial accounting and technology development.
5. Sheila Lirio Marcelo
IPO date: January 2014
Founded in 2006, Care.com is an online marketplace for childcare, senior care, special needs care, tutoring, pet care, and housekeeping. Sheila Lirio Marcelo founded the company to address a problem she faced as a working mother: finding caregivers for her children.
Care.com has tens of millions of members in numerous countries. The company was acquired by holding company IAC in February 2020 for $500 million. More recently, Marcelo founded Web3 education platform Proof of Learn.
6. Rachel King
IPO date: January 2014
GlycoMimetics is a late clinical-stage biotechnology company discovering and developing glycobiology-based therapies for cancers and inflammatory diseases. Rachel King co-founded the company with John Magnani.
Before launching GlycoMimetics, King was an Entrepreneur in Residence at New Enterprise Associates (NEA), one of the nation’s leading venture capital firms. The female entrepreneur also held leadership positions at Novartis and Genetic Therapy. Later on, she led Genetic Therapy’s IPO and eventual acquisition by Novartis. King holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and served as chair of the Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board under former Governor Martin O’Malley.
7. Julia Hartz
IPO date: September 2018
Global event management and ticketing website Eventbrite’s debut made a big splash, having one of the largest opening days, raising $230 million. Julia Hartz co-founded the company with Renaud Visage and Kevin Hartz in 2008.
The tech company has received praise for its positive office environment, and Hartz was named one of Fortune’s 40 Under 40 business leaders in 2015. The female founder also received praise for her leadership throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, which hit the events industry especially hard.
Not the first, and certainly not the last female-led IPOs
These seven women weren’t the first to take their tech companies public, and they most definitely won’t be the last.
Gender parity in tech entrepreneurship is a ways away, but with the right support systems and resources, we can continue narrowing the gap.
I encourage any female founder reading this post to book a call today to talk to our financial experts about how you can achieve financial success and well-being.