#HerImpact: Investing in High-Impact Women Around the World
A spotlight on female founders in Endeavor Catalyst’s portfolio, and why we’re optimistic about the gender gap
The gender gap in entrepreneurship and investment is a challenge as old as the activities themselves. Yet only recently has there been a surge in conversations and initiatives seeking to accelerate toward a solution — bolstered by enhanced data collection showing us just how far we have to go. For example: Pitchbook’s finding that in the past few years female founders have consistently earned only about 2% of all capital invested.
Endeavor Catalyst has approached this challenge from a unique perspective. As a rules-based co-investment fund set up to exclusively invest in Endeavor Entrepreneurs, Endeavor Catalyst’s portfolio is atypical from other VC funds in that it includes companies across a wide variety of industries, and spans over 20 countries in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia, and the U.S. — but has entirely objective criteria for investment.
The fund’s portfolio is comprised of high-impact entrepreneurs who have passed rigorous selection criteria to become a part of Endeavor’s network, which today includes over 1,800 founders of companies in 34 markets. As of now, Endeavor Catalyst has made just over 100 investments — all in Endeavor Entrepreneurs that have succeeded in raising global capital to help their companies scale.
Meet Our Founders
The Endeavor Entrepreneurs in Endeavor Catalyst’s portfolio represent some of the fastest-growing scale-ups in Endeavor’s network — and in some cases around the world. And the number of female founders is growing at an encouragingly quick pace, with two more companies led by women — Detroit’s Workit Health and Brazil’s Gesto — added in the last few months.
Here are a few highlights from the portfolio:
“I would love to one day be able to have a grand exit and have Amazon purchase my company so that other women who have not had the initial courage to start a business would see. There is a trickle effect. A few women start, and more carry on.”
Led by Endeavor Entrepreneur Mona Ataya, Mumzworld is the largest e-commerce platform in the Middle East dedicated to everything mother, baby and child. Founded in 2011, the Dubai-based company has quickly grown to be the market leader in their vertical with over 90,000 products and 300+ brands, and has been ranked by Forbes as the one of the top countries in the entire MENA region. The company became Endeavor Catalyst’s first investment in a woman in 2015, when the fund joined Mona’s Series A round led by Wamda Capital. Three years later, Mona raised a $20M Series B follow-on round.
“I thrive on building a strong and distinctive culture in my teams where everyone is excited to lock arms and fight to succeed in achieving our common goal. ”
Launched in 2013 and led by Jaclyn Baumgarten, Boatsetter is an online boat rental marketplace supported by Endeavor Miami. Boatsetter combines the rental mechanics of Airbnb with the on-demand labor dynamics of Uber to deliver a hassle-free boat rental experience for all stakeholders. In 2017, the company raised $17M of VC funding led by Miami-based fund The Venture City, with participation from Endeavor Catalyst. The company continues to rapidly grow. It acquired competitor Boatbound in 2017, and recently entered a strategic partnership with Airbnb to provide exclusive nautical experiences in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami and Barcelona.
Our goal is to triple our revenue in the next two years and be among the three most remembered brands in the health benefits consulting category — Fabiana Salles
Co-founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Fabiana Salles, GESTO is a pioneer in Brazil in the space of “insurance tech” or “insurtech.” Focused on the inefficiencies in the Brazilian healthcare market, GESTO is an insurtech platform that helps large companies reduce employee healthcare costs, improve treatment and care-giving, and facilitate easy HR management through automatization. Its data-powered platform gathers unstructured information from health plans and individuals and turns it into intelligent data. With over two million individuals in its database already, GESTO hopes to transform the Brazilian health market, impacting over ten million lives and increasing revenues ten-fold by 2020. In 2018, GESTO raised a Series B investment round led by Redpoint eVentures with participation from Endeavor Catalyst.
Supporting a Diverse Pool of Female Founders
Drawing from Endeavor’s network, Endeavor Catalyst companies have an added benefit from an international support system that provides mentorship and investor connections — opportunities that have been shown to reduce gender-based obstacles. The entrepreneurs highlighted above are just a few examples of that.
So far, Endeavor Catalyst has invested in 12 women —over 10% of the portfolio, and Endeavor supports nearly 200 high-impact female founders scaling up across diverse geographies and industries and making an impact on entrepreneurship ecosystems as job creators, revenue generators, and role models. You can read some of their stories in this week’s #HerImpact series on Endeavor’s Medium profile.
Endeavor’s #HerImpact series is part of our ongoing commitment to increase gender diversity within the Endeavor network. #HerImpact is devoted to elevating the voices, sharing the perspectives, and showcasing the professional expertise of women in Endeavor’s global network. Learn more about how you can get involved with Women in High Impact Entrepreneurship at Endeavor here: endeavor.org/whie
About Endeavor Catalyst
Endeavor Catalyst is the innovative co-investment fund of Endeavor, set up to invest exclusively in Endeavor Entrepreneur-led companies and to sustain Endeavor’s long-term operations in a mission-aligned way. Since launching in January 2012, Endeavor Catalyst has raised over $115M in philanthropically donated and invested capital, and invested into 100+ Endeavor companies in 20+ markets. To date, Endeavor Catalyst has co-invested alongside a number of leading venture capital and growth equity funds, including Accel Partners, General Atlantic, NEA, Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global. Investments include Globant (NYSE: GLOB) in Argentina, Yemeksepeti.com (acquired by Delivery Hero) in Turkey, and dr. consulta in Brazil.