Meet the Black Female Founder Whose Wellness Startup Raised $3 Million

Francesca Billington

Francesca Billington is a freelance reporter. Prior to that, she was a general assignment reporter for dot.LA and has also reported for KCRW, the Santa Monica Daily Press and local publications in New Jersey. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with a degree in anthropology.

Meet the Black Female Founder Whose Wellness Startup Raised $3 Million
Karen Hernandez

Loom started off in a Los Angeles storefront along Pico Boulevard offering education and events around women's health issues like fertility, periods, menopause, sex and postpartum depression.

Created by Erica Chidi and Quin Lundberg in 2016, the wellbeing startup moved online a few months ago as the pandemic shut down business and this week announced a $3 million raise led by Slow Ventures to roll out its digital health education platform.


The raise makes Chidi one of 35 Black female founders who have raised more than $1 million in venture capital, according to the company. In the last decade, Black female founders have raised only 0.06% of the venture capital dollars invested, with the average funding raised being $42,000.

"It was a natural evolution for Loom to expand beyond brick and mortar to an inclusive, empathetic, science-backed digital platform," Chidi said in announcing the raise. "It is our hope that by extending access to our classes we will support a greater number of women throughout all stages of their sexual and reproductive wellbeing journey."

Over the two years that Loom operated, Chidi, a doula, became known for her period coaching and sex-ed classes that advocated for sex positivity and reproductive empowerment.

loomLoom CEO Erica ChidiKaren Hernandez

The wellbeing company has plans to unveil its online platform this fall, but wouldn't release details of what that will include. Its website said Loom promises to bring a new approach to online learning offering "empowered education on everything from periods and sex to pregnancy and menopause."

The raise, which closed in February, was backed by Precursor Ventures, GSV, Moxie Ventures, General Catalyst and Maveron.

Chidi intentionally went after diverse venture capital and angel investors, a move she hopes will reinforce their efforts to create an inclusive sexual and reproductive health platform.

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Regard Raises $15M for AI-Powered Software That Help Doctors Diagnose Patients

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

Regard Raises $15M for AI-Powered Software That Help Doctors Diagnose Patients
Courtesy of Regard

Culver City-based health care startup Regard, which uses AI-driven software to help physicians accurately diagnose patients, has raised $15.3 million in Series A funding.

Pasadena-based Calibrate Ventures and Colorado-based Foundry Group led the investment in Regard, formerly known as HealthTensor. Other investors that participated in the round include TenOneTen Ventures, Susa Ventures, Brook Byers of Byers Capital and Dropbox CEO Drew Houston. The new funding will be used to grow Regard’s team and customer base, the company said in a press release.

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This Week in 'Raises': Regard Secures $15M, MaC Venture Capital Raises $203M for Second Fund

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

This Week in 'Raises': Regard Secures $15M, MaC Venture Capital Raises $203M for Second Fund
Image by Joshua Letona

This week in “Raises”: A local healthcare startup secured funding to help grow the team and deploy its software to more physicians and hospitals, while Black-led, seed-stage venture capital firm surpassed its goal for its second fund.

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How Braid Theory Plans to Build the Blue Economy from the Port of LA

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

How Braid Theory Plans to Build the Blue Economy from the Port of LA
Photo courtesy of the Port of Los Angeles.

San Pedro-based Braid Theory is one of the growing number of accelerators in the country looking to grow the so-called blue economy, which spans a range of ocean-related industries and is estimated at $2.5 trillion a year.

The accelerator is accepting online applications until July 18, with its second-ever program kicking off in August.

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