We recently released our annual list of the coolest, most inspiring people in New York City tech right now, the Silicon Alley 100.
The tech industry is notoriously male-dominated, so we wanted to tip our hats to the women of New York tech, the investors, innovators, founders, CEOs, and everyone in between making a mark on the scene.
Scroll down to see some of the incredible women who are building and funding the next great companies. Some of them have established their high-power careers already, and others are rising rockstars you should keep an eye on.
Managing director, Insight Venture Partners
Since it was founded in 1995, venture-capital firm Insight Venture Partners has raised more than $US7.6 billion and invested in companies like Udemy, Zenefits, Docker, Nextdoor, and Hootsuite. Gosher personally founded and leads Insight Onsite, the team that helps drive scale and growth for the companies in the firm's portfolio.
Recently, Insight led a $US160 million series D round for ride-sharing startup BlaBlaCar, valuing the company at $US1.2 billion. In the last year, notable investments included a $US100 million series B round in cloud company Mirantis and a $US40 million round in education tech startup Instructure. Not a bad year for Insight.
Model, student, entrepreneur
Model Karlie Kloss is more than just a pretty face. The Victoria's Secret Angel is a student, programmer, and entrepreneur. In the spring, Kloss started taking classes at The Flatiron School, where she learned how to code. She was so inspired by her experience that she started Kode With Karlie, a scholarship competition that sends girls age 13-18 to the school. Back in 2012, Kloss also launched Karlie's Kookies, a collaboration with Momofuku Milk Bar and the Feed Foundation, an organisation that provides food and education to children in need. For every 'Perfect 10 Kookie' sold, Feed donates 10 meals to children around the world.
And as of this fall Kloss can add college student to her list of ventures -- she started classes at New York University.
Cofounder and CEO, Alfred
Marcela Sapone and Jessica Beck met at Harvard Business School, fresh out of stints in the finance world. To keep their lives in order and their apartments clean, they had hired someone from Craigslist to buy their groceries and do their laundry. The woman they hired, Jenny, came to their apartments to take care of errands that would otherwise pile up. This was the earliest iteration of what would become their company, Alfred.
Today, Alfred is a startup that hires employees -- Alfred Client Managers, or just 'Alfreds' -- to run weekly errands: things like buying your groceries, sorting your mail, dropping off packages, and taking care of your laundry for you. You pay $US99 a month for the service, plus the cost of things like your groceries.
In May, Alfred raised a $US10.5 million Series A round of funding from New Enterprise Associates,Spark Capital, CrunchFund, and Sherpa Capital. In total, Alfred has raised $US12.5 million since it was founded in 2013.
Cofounder and CEO, DWNLD
These days it seems like everybody has an app in the App Store. And why not? It's a great way to make extra money while putting out a product that you believe in. Alexandra Keating is capitalising on that idea with DWNLD, a mobile app-creation platform that helps companies, brands, and other influencers easily and affordably turn their content, from social media to photos to videos to GIFs, into native mobile apps in minutes. DWNLD landed a $US12 million investment from Greylock Partners in September,and works with clients like Nylon, xoJane, and a number of YouTube stars and bloggers.
Founder and CEO (Gregory), first employee (Armstrong), Vive
Few things make a woman feel more fabulous than a fresh blowout. But at $US40 to $US90 a pop in New York City, it's a luxury that quickly adds up. Enter Vive, a 'ClassPass for blowouts' that lets members book unlimited blowout appointments at salons in Manhattan for just $US99 a month. Founded by Alanna Gregory, Vive launched earlier this year and is still working with investors to raise funding.
Though the service isn't perfect yet, it's definitely gaining traction. Vive capitalises on the popularity of on-demand services like Uber that make it possible to get what you want when you want it, relatively hassle-free.
WayUp (formerly Campus Job) is a marketplace for college kids looking for internships and jobs. About 90% of the positions offered on WayUp are paid, and the startup sees 10,000 new college-age users signing up weekly. Listings on the website include freelancing gigs, bartending jobs, and campus representative roles for companies.
WayUp was born out of a campus-rep company that former Googler Liz Wessel had started with a fellow student at Penn; it's an alternative to a college career-service center and Symplicity, a job board employers have to pay for postings on. It recently went through the startup accelerator Y Combinator, moved back to New York from Silicon Valley, and raised over $US9 million in May, bringing its total funding to $US10.3 million.
Reham Ragiri recently took her company, which is transforming the preowned-furniture marketplace in New York City, through prestigious startup incubator Y Combinator.
She and cofounder Kalam Dennis developed their service so that buyers and sellers of used furniture don't have to coordinate delivery or pick-up times, or even do the actual delivering or picking up themselves. AptDeco has a delivery partner that does it all, taking one of the biggest hassles of trying to buy or sell furniture in New York City out of the equation.
Cofounders, The Muse
Melissa McCreery, Kathryn Minshew, and Alex Cavoulacos are the cofounders of the job-search and career-advice site The Muse. This year, it raised a $US10 million series A round of funding from investors including Aspect Ventures, DBL Partners, Great Oaks Venture Capital Partner, and QED Investors. In total, the Y Combinator startup has raised $US12.8 million from investors.
The Muse receives 3 million active users every month and is competing with other career-advice and job-search sites like LinkedIn and Monster.com. By the end of 2015, The Muse expects to hire 25 people. The startup also wants to expand to skills development. Compared to the average age of users on LinkedIn -- 47 -- The Muse's is much lower at 29.
Cofounders, Rent the Runway
Rent the Runway, a website that lets women rent and return designer dresses for special events, raised $US60 million in a series D round of financing led by Technology Crossover Ventures in December 2014. To date, the company has raised a total of $US114.4 million from investors including Advance Publications, Bain Capital Partners, American Express, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Condé Nast.
The clothes-sharing service continues to expand, capitalising on the fact that women care more about feeling great for an event than actually owning the dress they wear. Rent the Runway has more than 5 million shoppers and operates four brick-and-mortar stores, where customers can rent clothing and accessories.
Cofounder and CFO, Orchard Platform
Orchard Platform, a fintech company that provides technology and infrastructure for marketplace lending, has attracted millions in VC funding, including a recent $US30 million series B round led by Thrive Capital with Spark Capital, Canaan Partners, Victory Park Capital, and Thomvest Ventures. Ceresnie, who previously worked on credit risk analytics at American Express and Citibank, says her traditional finance background gave her a basis for marketplace lending.
Wall Streeters are also throwing their hats in the ring for Orchard, as they see peer-to-peer loans as a potentially huge moneymaker for them.
Managing partner, High Line Venture Partners
Shana Fisher is easily one of Silicon Alley's best investors. The managing partner of High Line Venture Partners, she's renowned as one of the earliest investors in companies like Pinterest, ShopHers, Makerbot, Vine, and Refinery29, all of which have gone on to become worth millions. In the last year, some her investments have been in rapidly growing startups like UCode, Ringly, and PillPack.
Andela is a program that finds the best and brightest students or programmers in Africa -- the continent which has the most untapped potential tech talent, according to cofounder and CEO Jeremy Johnson. Before Andela, Sass founded educational programs in her home state of Georgia as well as in China, Kenya, Nigeria, Palestinian territories, and other parts of the US.
Andela trains programmers and places them in jobs at startups or Fortune 500 companies. The company launched last July and plans to develop a new model for how companies staff their organisations. In June, Andela raised a $US10 million series A round from Spark Capital and Arena Ventures.
Online-shopping app Spring is now the first major mobile shopping mall, thanks to a $US25 million series B round of funding in April. The round included investments from Spring cofounder David Tisch's seed fund, BoxGroup, as well as Yuri Milner, Groupe Arnault, Google Ventures, and Thrive Capital, bringing the company's total amount of capital raised to over $US30 million. Katz is cofounder and CMO and, in addition to Spring, Katz advises a number of other startups.
The app, which allows customers to immediately purchase any product with a single swipe, also reportedly received an investment from Snapchat earlier this year, Re/code reported, although reps for both companies declined to comment.
Editor-in-chief Kate Ward and founder Bryan Goldberg's publication for women announced at the end of last year that it now sees 20 million monthly readers, up from 10 million last July. At the same time, it raised a $US15.5 million series C round of financing, led by General Catalyst Partners.
The site, launched in August 2013, aims to be the ultimate content site for women, covering everything from news to fashion to entertainment. And after meeting with a dose of criticism in the beginning, Bustle has managed to convert many of its critics into fans.
Cofounders, The Skimm
Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin quit their jobs at NBC to start a daily email newsletter called The Skimm. In December 2014, The Skimm raised a $US6.3 million series A round from Greycroft Partners, Irving Azoff, and RRE Ventures, bringing its total funding to date
The Oprah Winfrey-endorsed newsletter launched three years ago. The last time subscriber numbers were released the count was at 1.5 million. 'We've grown a lot since then,' Zakin told BI a few months ago. In addition to growing its readership, The Skimm has grown from two friends on a couch to 14 people in an office.
Founder and CEO, LearnVest
In March, Learnvest, a financial-planning startup, was acquired by Northwest Mutual for more than $US250 million in cash, Business Insider reported.
Learnvest was started by Alexa von Tobel -- a former Morgan Stanley trader -- in 2007 as a way to make financial services affordable. The company provides free online resources to help readers manage money, including articles and advice on budgeting, investing, and money habits, as well as paid financial planning services. For $US299 a month, members are given a fully customised financial plan and paired with a certified financial planner available 24/7.
CEO, Revel Systems
Revel Systems sells point-of-sale systems based on Apple's iOS mobile platform. Since its 2010 founding, Revel Systems has sold its POS systems to 10,000 customers -- including Dairy Queen, Goodwill, and Tully's Coffee. Its employee count has doubled in the past year, from 200 to 400 people, and Revel Systems has deals with tech companies like Apple and Intuit.
In November 2014, Lisa Falzone's company raised a $US110 million round of funding led by private equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson, and Stowe. In August, it raised another $US13 million at a $US500 million valuation.
Gym rats love ClassPass, a service that lets users take unlimited classes (up to three per location) at boutique fitness studios for a flat fee of $US125 a month. Not only does the ClassPass give users a steep discount on pricey classes like Pure Barre and SoulCycle, but it allows them to try a multitude of things, from spin to hot yoga to Pilates.
Investors are pretty keen on ClassPass as well. The startup is valued at about $US400 million, and raised $US40 million in January in a series B round of funding led by General Catalyst Partners and Thrive Capital, bringing its total amount of venture capital raised to $US54 million since its launch in 2013.
Cohead of internet investment-banking team, Goldman Sachs
At the beginning of this year, Goldman Sachs named Kim Posnett cohead of its internet investment-banking team. The move makes sense for Posnett, who worked on the sale of Sapient to Publicis in 2014, the eBay-PayPal spin-off, the Zulily IPO in 2013, the Etsy IPO in 2015, the Wayfair IPO in 2014, the Honest Company's 2014 fundraise, and the Oscar and Jet fundraises in 2015.
Cofounder and editor-in-chief, The Huffington Post
After AOL was acquired by Verizon in May for $US4.4 billion, rumours circulated that Verizon would spin off The Huffington Post -- rumours that were quickly quashed by AOL CEO Tim Armstrong. Since then, editor-in-chief and cofounder Arianna Huffington has gone full speed ahead by hiring Jared Grusd, the new CEO as of August, to maintain content for more than 200 million unique visitors, making it larger than BuzzFeed. Huffington announced in June that she plans to stay on for at least another four years.
Fantasy-sports website FanDuel had a huge year; the startup raised a massive $US275 million series E round in July from investors like KKR, Comcast Ventures, Google Capital, NBC Sports Ventures, and Time Warner Investments. The new funding valued Fanduel at $US1.3 billion and pushing it into a growing group of startups with $US1 billion valuations known colloquially as the 'unicorn club.' As cofounder and marketing director, Eccles is responsible for online ads, social media campaigns, and forming partnerships with media outlets in the US.
FanDuel, which competes with DraftKings, made its first two acquisitions this summer too. In July, Fanduel acquired Scottish app-development company Kotika, and in August it acquired sports-analytics platform numberFire.
This year hasn't been drama-free for FanDuel, however.
The product has been marketed so much this football season however, that some of the promotions have begun to get mocked. According to iSpot.tv, FanDuel and its rival Draftkings poured a combined $US107 million into TV advertising during the month of September.
Also, both companies came under controversy when a class action lawsuit accused employees of using 'insider information' to place sports bets. FanDuel had to issue a statement, in which it banned its employees from playing daily fantasy sports games for money on any website.
Cofounders and co-CEOs, SoulCycle
It's official: SoulCycle is going public. The boutique indoor-cycling company filed for an IPO over the summer. According to the company's filing, SoulCycle earned $US112 million in revenue last year, and tripled in size from 12 studios in 2012 to 36 in 2014, Business Insider reported in July.
SoulCycle's success comes as no surprise to the thousands of loyal riders who turn out in droves for the company's fast-paced classes and cult-like fitness community. SoulCycle's also received its fair share of criticism, but there's no denying the craze it ignited.