finance

A London-based marketing agency known for its work with brands like Duolingo and Popchips is launching a $2 million fund for direct-to-consumer ventures and tech startups in Los Angeles. And no, the firm isn't looking to cut you an actual check.

Instead, And Rising is in the business of trading its creative services for stock. Call it what you'd like — sweat equity, services for equity or co-founder Jonathan Trimble's preferred term, creative capital – the model isn't exactly new.

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The SPAC, or special purpose acquisition company, is the most recent IPO craze to hit Wall Street. Many reputable companies are going public via this route — over 200 were formed in 2020 alone. SPACs have existed since the early 2000s, but they have recently enjoyed a resurgence in popularity. And with many more slated to take companies public in 2021, the surge shows no signs of slowing down.

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On today's episode of Behind Her Empire, meet Sallie Krawcheck, the CEO and co-founder of Ellevest. Her company is an investment platform focused on narrowing the gender gap and creating a space for women in finance.

Krawcheck wants to put money "in the hands of women" with her fund, and she's well on her way. Ellevest, which launched in 2016, recently announced it has $1 billion under management.

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