Women Power on Display in Career Site The Muse’s $10M Round

The Wall Street Journal
By Yuliya Chernova
May 19, 2015

From WSJ​.com

The Muse founders Kathryn Min­shew, left, and Alex Cavoulacos

The Muse









The Muse, a start­up found­ed by three women, raised $10 mil­lion from a female-led ven­ture investor syn­di­cate. That is a rare type of deal in today’s ven­ture world, and one to which the indus­try says it aspires.

Kathryn Min­shew, the startup’s chief exec­u­tive; Alexan­dra Cavoula­cos; and Melis­sa McCreery, found­ed The Muse in 2011 to offer job list­ings and career advice for young peo­ple. The Muse is the busi­ness name of Dai­ly Muse Inc.

The com­pa­ny, which had sin­gle-dig­it mil­lions of dol­lars of rev­enue last year, accord­ing to Ms. Min­shew, has about 300 com­pa­nies list­ing jobs and cor­po­rate pro­files on its site, as well as more than three mil­lion active users monthly.

The New York com­pa­ny now closed its Series A round, led by Aspect Ven­tures, a firm recent­ly launched by There­sia Gouw and Jen­nifer Fon­stad, with par­tic­i­pa­tion by DBL Part­ners, with Nan­cy Pfund respon­si­ble for the deal, and QED Ven­tures, with Cari­bou Honig, the only new male ven­ture investor.

I call it our ‘girlpow­er’ deal,” said Ms. Pfund, who’s join­ing The Muse’s board of direc­tors, along with Ms. Gouw.

The tech­nol­o­gy indus­try, still over­whelm­ing­ly male both on the start­up and investor sides, has been vocal recent­ly in try­ing to change its make­up. Nation­al Ven­ture Cap­i­tal Asso­ci­a­tion, for exam­ple, cre­at­ed a task force to increase diver­si­ty in the industry.

For The Muse diver­si­ty is cen­tral to its busi­ness in anoth­er way. The com­pa­ny says that 65% of its users are women, com­pared with 45% for LinkedIn, and more than 50% are non­white, while on LinkedIn about 33% are non­white, accord­ing to The Muse.

The Muse says it stands apart from com­pe­ti­tion by focus­ing on young peo­ple, ages 22 to 39, because this gen­er­a­tion, called mil­len­ni­als, approach­es work in a dif­fer­ent way.

For the full arti­cle about The Muse’s fund­ing round vis­it Ven­tureWire.

Write to Yuliya Cher­no­va at yuliya.​chernova@​wsj.​com. Fol­low her on Twit­ter at @ychernova