by DIANA DORAHY|17 July 2020

Female Founding News

Hi and welcome to the Wrap, a quick look at the week that was, I’m Diana Dorahy.

What a week…

Nicole was a guest speaker on a Bossbabes Network SIngapore event talking all about how small businesses can raise funding.

Women’s Weekly Magazine Singapore also did a fantastic feature piece on Nicole this week and included her top tips for getting funded. I’ll put the link in Facebook comments so have a read.

Nicole and Amanda also hosted a lively Q&A discussion as part of our July Masterclass about planning your funding journey. Thanks to all our members for your great questions.


Lots of funding news around this week….

I feel like I need a drumroll here. London-based, Karma Kitchen has just raised 252 million pounds when it set out to raise just three. Yes, you heard that right. Talk about oversubscribed.

This story has everything: female founders, fundraising, pivoting, growth plus, food! So what do they do? They provide flexible kitchen space to restaurants, caterers and meal kit companies and now the Series A funding round will see them open dozens of new sites across Europe. We’ll put the link on Facebook so have a read.


In other funding news,smart vending retail company PopCom has raised $1.3 million in capital exclusively from crowdfunding investors, the first time ever for any female founder. And she did it in just 47 days.

She said it was important to her to raise capital this way to build and encourage intergenerational wealth in often overlooked communities. She said she wants to bridge the gap between venture capital and everyday people.

This is the second time founder Dawn Dickson has used crowdfunding to raise capital. In 2017 she became the first black founder to raise the highest secure token offering or STO from crowdfunding. This time PopCom raised $1.07 million in capital from more than 2117 investors.


Another big funding story this week plant based milk maker Oatly had raised $200 million in a celeb-studded round led by Blackstone. Oprah and Natalie Portman are just two of the investors to buy into this brand taking it to $2 billion valuation. I’ve been on the Oatly bandwagon for years. Their tagline is “wow no cow” is an understatement – seriously, it’s better than milk.


My story of the week this week…. 


Goes to an interview with Impact X’s co-founder, Paula Groves.

We’ve all seen the numbers when it comes to VC funds and female and minority founders. Groves says the answer to creating long-lasting social change is successful impact investing. So how does this work? Through what she calls the ‘virtuous circle’. A virtuous circle is a complex chain of events, in which each successful event leads to the achievement of the next successful event, in a feedback loop. Entrepreneurship creates jobs, builds wealth, and then allows successful entrepreneurs to help the next generation of entrepreneurs, who in turn build jobs and wealth, and so on.

How do you do it? She uses the analogy of give a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach a man how to fish and he eats for a lifetime. And so it goes with social impact investing. We’ve already seen how using capital to address social issues is a very effective way to bring about sustainable social change. But what if instead of of donating to charitable fund, you made a social impact investment instead. It’s a powerful concept and one that her firm has been successfully using for the past two years in helping underrepresented entrepreneurs across Europe, particularly the Afro-Caribbean diaspora.


My tip of the week this week comes from our very own entrepreneur in residence this month, Yosha Gupta. 

She says she spent a lot of time cold-emailing investors and not enough time asking for introductions.  She says, if she had to do it again, she would definitely spend more time working the network to get the right introductions and target the funds which have a history of backing female founders in her industry. Great advice!


Coming up next week on Next Chapter Raise….

Nicole is hosting a free zoom event on Thursday on why funding is so important to small business. Sign up on our website.

There are just two more days left to apply for the Founder Institute 2020 Asia program. This year, the program is going remote and founders can apply from all over Asia. You might even be eligible for the Next Chapter Raise Female Founder Fellowship. See our website for details.

Finally, next week we’re hosting the Cartier Grant Implementation Hour. That’s next Tuesday, July 21st from 3-4pm Hong Kong time. We’ll be doing a review of the grant and discussing its requirements so if you’re a member or friend of Next Chapter Raise, join us!


Have a great weekend and see you next time on The Wrap.



“It is important for those who seek social change to turn an eye toward funding entrepreneurship”: Interview with Impact X’s co-founder Paula Groves