A Letter from The Riveter CEO & Founder: Announcing Our $4.75 Million Series Seed Funding
Today we announced our $4.75 million Series Seed funding led by Madrona Venture Group. As part of the financing, we’re thrilled to welcome Hope Cochran from Madrona to The Riveter board. Hope’s extensive experience as an entrepreneur, CFO and board member will be invaluable to the company, as will Madrona’s deep roots in our Pacific Northwest home. We are also excited to share that additional participants in the funding include X Factor Ventures, Brilliant Ventures, The Helm, PLG Ventures, Portland Seed Fund, Founders’ Co-Op, and Start It Labs.
This announcement comes just ten months after we opened the doors to our first location. When I left my career in corporate litigation in January 2017, I knew that I wanted to to build a platform for women growing businesses or careers wherever they were in that journey. I named the company The Riveter after the iconic American image of working women. During World War II, women defined this country’s workforce in a way that remains unparalleled today. In fact, the United States government orchestrated a far-reaching, heavily-subsidized child care program during World War II to ensure that women could go to work—the likes of which we have not seen in the seven decades since. The Riveter was premised on the question of what a workforce would look like if women were taken into account as leaders and changemakers. Since launching the company in 2017, together with our incredible members and a top-notch team, we’ve created an innovative platform that reimagines how workspaces in the physical and digital realm can be designed to promote the economic force of women from thoughtful open spaces to curated learning experiences. We are grateful beyond words to our members for their ideas and support, and we are honored to work alongside them as they grow startup teams, return to the workforce from time off to be with family, or pivot to a second or third act.
In less than one year, we have grown from an idea to a trusted community. We have opened two workspaces in Seattle and designed more than 18,000 sq ft of space where our members can work, connect and learn. We have welcomed multiple Olympians, six U.S. Senators, and luminaries like Sheryl Sandberg. We believe that professional women are a wildly underserved and remarkably untapped network. Our membership—women, men and allies—is bonded by a single belief: There is great value in boosting women’s economic strength. (And we know this to be true because the numbers are clear. Companies with strong female leadership generate higher returns. Another recent report concluded that startups with a female founder performed 63 percent better than those with all-male founding teams.)
The Riveter’s next year will be just as exciting as our first. Some of the steps we are excited to share include:
- Expansion of our community to Los Angeles and beyond. We will open our first California location in West Los Angeles in a few months with a second location soon to follow.
- The development of a digital platform where our members can continue to deepen their in-person connections and meet new potential clients, hires, or friends. We will also be able to share our wonderful events across cities and locations, as well as introduce The Riveter’s network to those who live outside our physical reach.
- The launch of a podcast and newsletter. We cannot wait to share more of our thoughts and learnings with you, as well as invite you to join us for important conversations with journalists, politicians, and founders on topics that are relevant to all of us. Women’s stories remain untold all too often. We believe they should be shared.
- We are working to build even stronger programming offerings, designed for women in various stages of life and work. In Seattle, for example, we are ready to launch weekly VC office hours with several of the Pacific Northwest’s top investors. Separately, we are working to refine our offerings around career pivots; and
- Growing our remarkable team of Riveters and working hard to build a movement for women. Please see our open positions here!
Finally, I would like to say thank you to our early members, teammates, and investors. Walking away from a career to start a company is hard. And the numbers show that it is even harder for women. Last year, for example, women founders received less than 3 percent of VC dollars and only 4 percent of small business loans. I took this leap at an interesting time for my family, too, as I was ten weeks pregnant with my third daughter when I signed The Riveter’s first lease. Yet the community that built The Riveter with me has been and continues to be remarkable in their support, advice and unwavering commitment to showing up. I believe that The Riveter is a movement and that our voices will define critical change in this country. We cannot wait to grow this company together with our new investors.
Ps. For more information on our raise: