Fairygodboss, a self-described social network for career-minded women, today announced that it has raised $10 million in series A financing co-led by GSV Accelerate and Signal Peak Ventures. This follows a $3 million venture capital round in May 2018 and brings the New York startup’s total capital raised to $14 million. The fresh funds will enable Fairygodboss to “enhance” its existing product suite and expand its team, the company said.
Fairygodboss — which was cofounded in 2015 by Dow Jones veterans Georgene Huang and Romy Newman — began life as a Glassdoor-like anonymous review portal before pivoting to become a general career site. In addition to job listings and employer profiles, it hosts a personalized daily feed and crowdsourced databases for companies’ benefits.
Unlike, say, LinkedIn or CareerBuilder, Fairygodboss is targeted squarely at the over 72 million women who make up the U.S. labor force. Former and current female employees share information about which hirers have generous maternity-leave policies or value work-life balance, and their reviews inform Fairygodboss’ recommendations and regularly updated lists of the best companies for women.
Fairygodboss is free — it makes the bulk of its money writing sponsored content for clients and supplying them with competitor insights — and it has more than 3 million visitors each month. Huang and Newman believe the momentum’s been partly driven by the stigma around maternity benefits; according to a survey Fairygodboss conducted in 2015, 65 percent of women said they were uncomfortable asking about maternity leave details during interviews and 80 percent said they’d join a company without a full understanding of the policies. Moreover, drawing on review data, Fairygodboss says that only 61 percent of employers its users have reviewed treat women fairly compared with men and that 21 percent don’t promote women equally to men.
The site is evidently doing something right. Fairygodboss claims it saw 30 times user growth in two years — to 24 million women — and told VentureBeat that it has more than 100 corporate partners, including household names like Accenture, Apple, General Motors, Home Depot, Hilton, JPMorgan Chase, and Southern California Edison.
“I do think companies need to understand that people — whether or not they’re parents — have a life outside of work that they need to tend to,” Huang told New York Times’ deputy managing editor Rebecca Blumenstein onstage at Fairygodboss’ recent Galvanize Summit in New York City. “We have to tell the truth about our workplace experiences in order to move forward in reaching gender equality. It means so much for women to hear directly from other women.”