Female-Centric Coworking Firm The Riveter Raises $15M to Fuel Growth

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The outlook appears to be rosy for The Riveter.

The Seattle-based startup, which bills itself as a “membership network built by women, for everyone,” says it has raised $15 million in new funding.

The Riveter, which launched in May 2017, operates coworking spaces and organizes events and workshops for its members and the public. It currently has three locations in its home city and two in Los Angeles, and plans to use some of the proceeds from the new funding round to expand to other parts of the country.

California-based Alpha Edison led the round, The Riveter says. Another participating fund was Madona Venture Group, which led The Riveter’s $4.8 million seed round in March, the organization says.

The popularity of coworking has risen over the past decade, though a small number of firms have fueled the lion’s share of the growth. Two companies, WeWork and Regus, provide more than 80 percent of leased coworking space in the U.S., according to a report from JLL, a Chicago-based brokerage firm.

For its part, The Riveter says it counts more than 2,000 people as members.

In a press release announcing the new funding round, The Riveter says it’s planning a “significant expansion across the U.S.” The organization says it plans to open multiple new locations in 2019, including at least one in Texas.

The Riveter’s website has a map of the U.S. showing the organization’s current and planned future locations. The map indicates that in addition to Texas, The Riveter plans to eventually open spaces in other states, including Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois, Georgia, and North Carolina.

Amy Nelson, founder and CEO of The Riveter, says in the release that only 9 percent of venture capitalists in the U.S. are women. Her organization is seeking to partner with more female investors “to change the ratio,” Nelson says.

The Riveter also wants to help more female entrepreneurs raise money, which in theory can accelerate their companies’ growth. Startups with a female founder or an all-female founding team have raised less than 3 percent of venture capital dollars invested in U.S. companies each of the past two years, according to Seattle-based PitchBook.

Among the female-founded startups that do raise venture funding, only one in 50 raises a subsequent round, The Riveter says. In contrast, about one in three male-founded companies raise follow-up funding, according to the release.

“These statistics underscore the importance and demand for resources, space, and connection to help level the playing field for women in business,” Nelson says in a prepared statement.

Jeff Buchanan is the editor of Xconomy Seattle. Email: jbuchanan@xconomy.com Follow @_jeffbuchanan

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