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5 Exciting Startups Led by Women

Healthtech, News, AR/VR, E-Commerce

When it comes to the range of solutions offered across countless verticals, the tech industry has never been more diverse. But there’s still plenty of scope for improvement when it comes to gender parity among founders and leaders. 

While things are (slowly) improving in terms of female representation in the workforce, with the proportion of women at large global tech firms expected to reach 33% this year, research from the last few years shows there continues to be a significant gap at the top. For example, a 2020 report by Silicon Valley Bank found that only around 26% of US tech startups had at least one female founder. Meanwhile, a study last year by CodinGame showed that, of the 137 firms identified by The Sunday Times and Deloitte as the fastest growing tech companies in the UK, only seven had at least one female founder. 

The gap is even more egregious, from a bottom-line point of view, when you consider that tech companies led by women tend to be both more capital-efficient and, if VC-backed, bring in higher revenues than male-owned tech firms. This is one of the motivating factors behind the recent launch of a $20 million fund aimed at women-led European startups, courtesy of Switzerland-based Privilège Ventures. As the founding general partner of the firm, Jacqueline Ruedin Rüsch, has said, ‘We don’t just want to support women. The data shows women in the driver’s seat produce better ROI.’

With numerous female-founded tech firms becoming game-changers in their respective sectors – we’re thinking the likes of Starling Bank, TaskRabbit and Bumble – it’s exciting to consider the lesser-known startups that are making waves. Here are five to keep an eye on.



Can a surgeon be present in an operating theatre without being present in an operating theatre? Yes, thanks to Proximie, a telemedicine platform which utilises cameras, machine learning and augmented reality to allow clinicians located anywhere around the world to interact, collaborate and share expertise during surgical procedures. 

Its founder, London-based plastic surgeon Nadine Hachach-Haram, was motivated by her vision of a world where ‘operating rooms around the world were connected, digitized, collaborative, intelligent’. The platform came to widespread attention when a CNN report spoke to a surgeon based in Beirut who used Proximie to provide live instructions to doctors dealing with a blast injury in the Gaza strip. 

Hailed as a true milestone in medicine, Proximie raised $80 million in series C funding earlier this year, and has already been used in over 500 hospitals across the world. 



London-based startup GrandNanny doesn’t simply have a female founder. The company is in fact entirely staffed by women, and bills itself as the UK’s first ‘intergenerational childcare service’, matching parents seeking flexible, part-time childcare with over 50s who have experience in this field.

Founder Adele Aitchison has an academic background in gerontology, the study of ageing, and one of the goals of the startup is to help midlife and older people get into part-time work (a laudable objective, given that the employment rate for over 50s has fallen since the pandemic). The platform works with potential ‘GrandNannies’, helping them create personal profiles and presenting them with potential roles in their communities. 

The startup recently raised over $450,000 in pre-seed funding, and Aitchison is aiming high with the hope of seeing ‘GrandNannies at every school gate in the UK’.



It’s well known that Gen Z consumers pay close attention to the ethical credentials of businesses they buy products and services from. The same goes for Gen Z investors, and New York-based startup Alinea has been created to cater to this demographic. 

Founded by two women, Eve Halimi and Anam Lakhani, the Y Combinator-backed platform allows users to inspect the social and environmental impact of potential investment targets. Stocks can be purchased in stacks encompassing themed categories like Clean Energy, Women-Led, and Empower Minorities. The app also has a social side, allowing you to see what friends are investing in. 

As Anam Lakhani said in a recent interview, ‘Investing is here to stay, and for Gen Z, it is more than just a way of generating financial returns. It’s championing causes and voicing opinions. Investing is another form of self-expression.’


Vertical Future

Co-founded by a highly enterprising couple, Marie-Alexandrine and Jamie Burrows, Vertical Future is a London-based developer of vertical farming hardware and software solutions. Vertical farming, the practice of growing crops in vertical stacks (often in repurposed structures like tunnels and shipping containers) has gained plaudits for maximising yields without the need for pesticides in a more efficient and sustainable way.

Vertical Future is a one-stop shop for setting up a business in this burgeoning sector, providing growing systems which feature everything from adaptable lighting to in-house robotics, and a proprietary SaaS platform which integrates with the hardware to monitor and optimise production. 

It’s certainly caught investors’ attention; in January of this year, the company bagged Europe’s biggest ever Series A fundraise in the vertical farming sector: almost $24 million



It’s understandable that Emma Yang has made headlines as an entrepreneur, given that she devised Timeless when she was just 12 years old. A TEDx speaker, MIT-Solver, seasoned Carnegie Hall performer and passionate coder, Yang created the Timeless app to help Alzheimer’s patients remember events and stay connected with loved ones. 

The app aggregates various pieces of information for patients. For example, a user can scroll through photo feeds uploaded by friends and family, where the people featured the photos are clearly tagged and named via facial recognition technology. The app also reminds users of upcoming meet ups and appointments, encouraging users to remain as active as possible.

Then there’s the signature feature of Timeless, called Identify. A user can simply take a photo of someone using their phone, and the app will use facial recognition to instantly tell the user who they are. It’s a simple yet very effective concept all the more impressive for being the brainchild of such a young tech pioneer.