UPDATED 13:43 EST / OCTOBER 20 2016


Why it’s good business to invest in women-run startups | #GHC16

Not only are women the dominant users of the fastest-growing mobile and social platforms, they make or influence 85 percent of all consumer purchases. Keeping this in mind, BBG Ventures invests only in visionary, entrepreneurial companies that have at least one female founder.

Nisha Dua, partner at BBG Ventures and founder of #BUILTBYGIRLS, joined Rebecca Knight (@knightrm), cohost of theCUBE, from the SiliconANGLE Media team, and guest host Karis Hustad, TechTruth fellow and reporter at Chicago Inno, during the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Houston, TX. They discussed some examples of successful companies BBG has helped get off the ground, as well as advice for entrepreneurs who are seeking investors.

Making investments in women

Hustad asked about BBG’s investments in start-ups, and for some good examples.

“We’re invested in 40 companies … [where] women are solving a broad range of problems. Glam Squad, the Uber of beauty [is one],” Dua said. “We invested in a male/female engineering team to build a weather app called Sunshine. The app is 10 times better than anything we have currently; 65 percent of its users are women, as accurate weather prediction [can determine] what to wear in the morning.”

Different measures of success

Hustad asked if financial successes have been forthcoming.

“When you’re looking at early-stage investing … our oldest company is three years old, so you can’t really say yet what the financial return is. We’re gauging [success by] if we’re getting these companies to their next level of funding; over a third of the companies are able to make it to second level funding,” explained Dua.

She spoke of HopSkipDrive, a ride-sharing app for kids, that’s doing very well in a tough market, the San Francisco Bay Area. Dua believes this success is because the company was very thoughtful about building a “sticky product,” one that engages and delights its users.

Knight asked if she had any thoughts or advice for young people looking for investors.

“Talk to as many people in your field as possible, sharing expertise, building meaningful relationships,” said Dua. She also said it’s better not to ask for money right away, but to build out relationships first, making potential investors more comfortable with you, your product, and your company.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of the Anita Borg Institute’s Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.

Photo by SiliconANGLE

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