Kelman’s Willow raises an additional $26.8M in Series C funding

From our Women's PE Briefs - week commencing April 26, 2021

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Hachach-Haram’s Proximie raises $38M in Series B funding

Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram’s effort to save lives by sharing the world’s best clinical practices garners additional financial support. Proximie, which Nadine founded and leads, raised $38 million in Series B funding from F-Prime Capital, Questa Capital, Eight Roads, Maverick Ventures, and existing investors Global Ventures, BECO Capital and Cedar Mundi Ventures.

Based in London, Proximie is a health technology platform company focused on digitizing operating and diagnostic rooms. The platform combines human expertise with the power of augmented reality, machine learning, artificial intelligence and advanced telecommunications. Proximie is building a network of operating rooms, where every interaction is captured, digitized, catalogued and analyzed. By doing so, Proximie can accelerate adoption of best practices and help to create better patient outcomes. Over the last 12 months, the company has conducted more than 10,000 surgical interactions in 300 hospitals in more than 40 countries.

Nadine, a practicing surgeon, founded Proximie in 2016.

Katz’s Seed Health raises $40M in Series A funding

Ara Katz, co-founder & co-CEO at Seed Health, is on a personal mission to explore the importance of microbes and how they impact the health of our bodies, our children, and our environment. And a group of investors have stepped up to help her pursue that aim. A Los Angeles-based microbial sciences company, Seed Health raised a $40 million Series A round from The Craftory, Artis Ventures, GISEV, and existing investors, Founders Fund and 8VC.

The company is developing next-generation probiotic applications and live biotherapeutics. Ara, a serial entrepreneur, was inspired to start Seed Health after giving birth and breastfeeding. The new round will support the company's growth and power upcoming category launches, clinical research, digital health initiatives, microbial stabilization technologies and international expansion.

In a statement, Ara said,advances in research reveal the vast potential of microbes to transform how we live and care for ourselves, our children, and our environment. We are inspired to steward this next generation of probiotics and microbiome-based innovations that will disrupt and forever change the global categories of health, hygiene, diet and self-care.”

Norwood and Plotch see Stix raise $3.5M in seed funding

Jamie Norwood and Cynthia Plotch are focused on giving women seamless and discreet access to health and wellness products that are part of everyday life. The company they founded to do that, Stix, recently announced it raised $3.5 million in seed funding from Resolute Ventures, SWAT Equity Partners, Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, Bullish and a variety of strategic angels. Stix has now raised a total of $5 million.

Stix provides products, education and community for women to manage their health. Jamie and Cynthia founded Stix in 2019 with direct-to-consumer pregnancy tests. Today, the company is expanding to ovulation tests, prenatal supplements, a suite of UTI products and offering expert health resources through their digital platform, The Stix Library.

Kelman’s Willow raises an additional $26.8M in Series C funding

Investors step up with more capital for Willow, which has developed an all-in-one, in-bra wearable breast pump that was founded by Naomi Kelman and is led by Laura Chambers. The company landed an additional $26.8 million in Series C funding from Endeavour Vision, New Enterprise Associates, Pure Vida Investments, Purple Arch Ventures, Logos Capital and Gaingels. It brings the total size of the round to $81.8 million. Willow raised $55 million in 2020 from NEA, Perceptive Advisors, Meritech Capital Partners and Lightstone Ventures.

Based in Mountain View, Calif., Willow has sold more than 130,000 of its devices. The additional capital will fuel existing product innovation and new product launches.

Laura joined Willow as CEO in 2020. She is a former manager at eBay and Airbnb.

Snyder lands capital for her new security startup Thistle Technologies 

Window Snyder, who held senior security roles at Apple, Microsoft, Intel and Square, lands capital for new her security startup. Thistle Technologies secured $2.5 million in seed funding from True Ventures.

Based in San Francisco, Thistle is focused on security for the connected device market. Thistle provides embedded device manufacturers the ability to incorporate a highly reliable and resilient implementation into their products quickly and easily.

Window formerly served as chief security officer at Square, Mozilla and Fastly; chief software security officer at Intel Corp.; and held multiple security leadership roles at Apple and Microsoft.

In a statement, Window said, “we're making it easier for device makers to deliver on their security requirements. When the update mechanism is resilient and reliable, the business can leverage that beyond security fixes to provide updates for new features with confidence. This can even open up new revenue streams for some customers. Security can be an enabler.”

Founded and led by Manolache, Introvoke raises $2.7M

Introvoke co-founder and CEO Oana Manolache gains funding for a third-wave solution to virtual events. Based in San Francisco, Introvoke raised $2.7 million in funding. The round was led by Struck Capital, while Comcast, Social Leverage, Great Oaks,, Time CTO Bharat Krish and Resy co-founder Michael Montero also participated.

Introvoke offers virtual stages, chat rooms and networking hubs, all customizable and embeddable on a customer’s website. This platform is designed for a hybrid future, which will come in many different forms. In a statement, Oana said, “hybrid is going to mean virtual-only events, in-person only events and events that have in-person and virtual elements. We’ve been so impressed by the way customers are using the technology — conferences, career fairs, employee engagements.”

Prior to Introvoke, Oana worked at HP in marketing, B2B sales and business development, where she managed strategic plans and cross functional teams to achieve business targets.

Acharya’s Weav secures seed funding 

A company co-founded by Ambika Acharya secures seed funding to build a universal API for commerce platforms. Weav’s platform enables companies to build and embed new financial products and create new opportunities for e-commerce merchants, creators and other entrepreneurs.

Ambika founded Weav in New York City with Avikam Agur and Nadav Lidor after participating in the Y Combinator's Winter 2020 Batch.

Foundation Capital led Weav’s $4.3 million round, which also included participation from Y Combinator, Abstract Ventures, BoxGroup, LocalGlobe, Operator Partners, Commerce Ventures and SV Angel. Several founders and executives also put money in the round, including Brex founders Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi; Ramp founder Karim Atiyeh; Digits founders Jeff Seibert and Wayne Chang; Hatch founder Thomson Nguyen; GoCardless founder Matt Robinson and COO Carlos Gonzalez-Cadenas; Vouch founder Sam Hodges; Plaid’s Charley Ma as well as executives from such companies as Square, Modern Treasury and Pagaya.

Cohen Geffen’s designer rental service Vivrelle raises $26M in Series A funding

Investors take a shine to a designer rental service co-founded by Blake Cohen Geffen. Vivrelle raised $26 million in Series A financing from Origin Ventures and Chapford Capital Group.

Based in New York City, Vivrelle provides access to designer handbags, jewelry and diamonds. Customers pay a monthly membership fee to experience items for as long as desired with the option to swap items monthly. Blake founded Vivrelle in 2018 with her husband, Wayne. Blake previously worked in fashion public relations.

In a statement, Blake said, “the funding will enable the company to support membership growth, expand its product offering to meet increased membership demand, amplify marketing initiatives and partnerships, and scale its services, operations, and internal teams.”

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