women founders

women founders

Courtesy of Ruth Health

Ruth Health, a Los Angeles-based startup focused on prenatal and postpartum care, has raised $2.4 million in seed funding led by Giant Ventures, with additional participation from the likes of L.A.-based Emmeline Ventures and Y Combinator, the company announced Thursday.

Alison Greenberg and Audrey Wu launched Ruth Health in 2020 as the pandemic altered the fabric of health care in a remote setting. Suddenly, pregnant people couldn’t go to their ultrasounds with their partners. Lamaze classes were either shuttered or limited entry to only those who were giving birth. Social distancing limited conversations where pregnancy issues would naturally be discussed.

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Image courtesy of Heela Yang

On this episode of the Behind Her Empire podcast, Heela Yang, the co-founder and CEO of Sol de Janeiro, talks about how uprooting her life to move to another country helped inspire her award-winning body care line.

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Courtesy of Emmeline Ventures

Emmeline Ventures—a new all-female, minority-led venture capital firm—has set up shop in Los Angeles, with its first check going to a local early-stage crypto startup.

The new venture firm, based in L.A. and Phoenix, is still in the process of securing its initial fund, with a goal of raising $5 million to $8 million. The fund’s first close is expected at the end of April and will bring in as much as $1.6 million, a spokesperson for the company told dot.LA.

While Emmeline is new to the scene, its partners are not. The firm’s three co-founders—Sahara Reporters chairwoman La Keisha Landrum Pierre, Digital Oxygen founder Naseem Sayani and investor Azin Radsan van Alebeek—say they had collectively invested in 13 pre-seed and seed-stage startups before teaming up.

Along with the new fund, Emmeline announced its first deal—contributing $30,000 toward a seed round for Clutch Wallet, a Los Angeles-based startup that offers a digital wallet for the Ethereum blockchain. “Having female investors fund our product that will generate more wealth for women is a strategic full circle of women helping women,” Clutch Wallet founder and CEO Bec Jones said in a statement.

Emmeline plans to back as many as 20 female founders via its initial fund, targeting startups that “help women, in particular, manage their health, build their wealth, and live in a safer, cleaner world.” But what, exactly, does that mean?

“For us, a cleaner, safer world includes everything from what we wear and eat, to what

we watch, read, and listen to,” a spokesperson for Emmeline told dot.LA in an email. “We believe everything from supply chains to software to content systems can be safer, more bias-free, and more inclusive of the humans who engage with them—and this is where we invest.”

Speaking of inclusivity, it’s not very common in the world of venture capital. The VC industry is instead known for its homogeneity, as it’s largely led by men who primarily invest in male founders. Last year, only 2% of the funds deployed by venture capitalists in the U.S. went to solely female-led startups, according to a recent PitchBook report.

“Our goal is to have an active role in changing the venture investing landscape,” Emmeline partner Landrum Pierre said in a statement. “How? By funding companies that have a meaningful, positive impact on how women lead their lives in the future.”

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