Solv raised $3.4M from 75 women investors, 60 percent of whom are women of color and 33 percent of whom are first-time investors. Acrew Capital and Corner Ventures co-led the recently completed $45 million Series C funding round, with participation from existing investors, Benchmark and Greylock.
Participation by women investors
Solv is an app that delivers everyday healthcare on-demand. It formed a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to provide female investors with access to the round. The SPV raised $3.4 million in just two weeks. Hollywood actress, producer, and director Kerry Washington participated in the round, alongside personal investments from Dr. Toyin Ajayi, CEO of Cityblock; Katrina Lake, founder of StichFix; and Jennifer Tejada, CEO of PagerDuty. The venture capital community also participated via personal investments from Kara Nortman, Managing Partner at UpFront Ventures; Lydia Jet, Managing Partner at VisionFund; and Laela Sturdy, General Partner at Capital G.
“As a founder, I realized that the most direct way that I could create more cap table diversity in tech was to make the space on Solv’s cap table. This might sound obvious, but an SPV created with this purpose is not common as it should be,” shared Heather Fernandez, CEO and co-founder of Solv. “I hope that this helps other founders and investors see what’s possible, so we can all stop talking about cap table diversity, and actually do something about it. I’m proud and excited to have so many first-time investors join the Solv growth journey. I hope the success of Solv’s SPV and enthusiastic response from female investors will inspire other venture-backed companies.”
Cap table diversity in startups
Opportunities for women and minorities, including smaller investors, to participate in deal flow and successful startup growth rounds are rare. While women make up 33 percent of the workforce, they hold just 9 percent of the equity value, according to a comprehensive public study of cap table data by Carta and the investment collective #Angels. The other 91 percent belongs to men.
“Through our 20-year friendship, Heather and I have spoken at length about how to make cap table diversity a reality. Access to these circles is typically constrained to a small group of men who have long-term relationships with investors or repeat founders,” said Kara Nortman. “By tapping into our personal and professional networks, we brought women into a growth stage investment. The success of Solv’s SPV is a testament to Heather, Solv’s traction and culture, and the women who believe and invested in her vision.”
To increase access and participation from underrepresented communities, the female-founded and -led company used its Series C round to provide wealth creation opportunities for ambitious women investors, a group that more accurately reflects the makeup of Solv user base and healthcare decision-makers in the United States. Unlike many SPVs who maintain a $25,000 minimum, Solv eliminated any investment minimum and opened a dedicated portion of its cap table to provide women the opportunity to invest in a growth-stage company. Of the 75 female investors, contribution amounts ranged from $1,000 to more than $1 million.
All-women advisory board
Concurrently, Solv established its first industry advisory board, whose founding members are all women, including:
- Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA, 18th U.S. Surgeon General
- Alexandra Morehouse, Chief Marketing Officer of Banner Health
- Florence Chang, President of MultiCare Health System
“Women and mothers make most healthcare decisions, yet are often underrepresented by their care teams and healthcare executives,” said Dr. Benjamin. “I’m honored to join the Solv team as Heather and the company strive to empower women and families at every level, whether it’s at the cap table or ensuring they have access to high quality, affordable healthcare.”
Solv is on a mission to make affordable, high-quality, same-day and next-day care easy to access for all. Today, 150 million Americans live within five miles of a same-day bookable appointment with a Solv provider. One in 16 Americans have used Solv to schedule care.
Solv is an app that delivers everyday healthcare on-demand. The app connects patients to a national network of convenient healthcare providers, empowering consumers to simplify their everyday healthcare needs. For providers, Solv’s technology improves their quality of service, engagement with their patients, and the performance of their practice. For consumers, Solv offers same-day appointment availability, in-person and virtual visits, and cost transparency. Solv eliminates the stress of everyday healthcare by letting you know where you can go, when you’ll be seen, and how much it will cost.
For more insights on the gender gap in the venture capital world, watch/read our interview with Marian Nakada on Lioness.