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