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21 female angel investors every startup founder should know

Tech Insider logo Tech Insider 8/17/2018 Zoë Bernard

Ellen Pao et al. posing for the camera: top female angel investors © Provided by Business Insider Inc top female angel investors Business Insider/Samantha Lee

For early-stage startups seeking capital, an investment from an angel investor can make all the difference when getting your company off the ground.

While both angel investors and venture capitalists often invest in early-stage companies, angel investors give from their own money, often in smaller amounts. Early-stage entrepreneurs often recommend seeking out these personal investments because they come with different expectations than venture funds, which typically expect to see return in 10 years or less.

We've rounded up some of the most active female angel investors who are writing checks for early-stage companies looking to grow. In addition to our own research, we've reached out to VC firms, , and investors around the country for nominations.

Among the women we've listed are attorneys, developers, engineers, and business executives who are financing startups and leading tech's early stage investment scene. 

Linda Xie is a former product manager at Coinbase and has invested in several blockchain startups.

a person smiling for the camera © Provided by Business Insider Inc Linda Xie

What she does: Xie is the co-founder and managing director of Scalar Capital, an investment firm specializing in crypto assets. Through Scalar, she's invested in companies like Keep Network, MobileCoin, DFINITY, Kadena, Handshake, and Oasis Labs.

Companies she's personally invested in: dYdX, StarkWare, O(1) Labs, Celo, and DIRT.


Cyan Banister is a former entrepreneur who made early bets on companies like Uber, SpaceX, and Postmates.

a person standing in front of a book shelf © Provided by Business Insider Inc Founders Fund

What she does: In addition to her work as a partner at Peter Thiel's Founders Fund, Banister is involved in a number of companies like Naked Labs, Panda, and Tagged. In 2016, TechCrunch awarded her with its Angel Investor Of The Year award.  

Companies she's invested in: Banister has made a number of investments including Uber, SpaceX, Naked Labs, Postmates. 

Lorine Pendleton is an attorney who invests and advises companies led by diverse entrepreneurs.

a person smiling for the camera © Provided by Business Insider Inc Pipeline Angels

What she does: In addition to her work in law, Pendleton is a partner at investing network platform Portfolia. She's been named by Marie Claire as one of the most well-connected women in America. 

Companies she's invested in: Cisse Trading, Traklight, Hire an Esquire, and Tastemakers Africa. 


Angel investor Joanne Wilson has been an influential figure within New York City's tech scene.

a person posing for the camera © Provided by Business Insider Inc Joanne Wilson

What she does: Wilson worked in wholesale retail, media, and tech before becoming an angel investor. She made her first investment in 2007 and typically invests in companies founded by women. 

Companies she's personally invested in: Wilson is invested in more than 90 companies including Shippo, Food52, Sweeten, Vengo, Nestio, Shippabo, Flip, Clutter, and Union Station.

Before starting her own San Francisco-based venture firm Day One Ventures, Masha Drokova founded a PR studio that worked with companies like Houzz, HotelTonight, Gett, and Toptal.

a person looking at the camera © Provided by Business Insider Inc Thomson Reuters

What she does: Through Day One Ventures, Drokova has funded companies including Superhuman, Catalog, DigitalGenius, and FutureFamily. She also serves as an advisor to the VR non-profit Oceanic.

Companies she's personally invested in: Digital Genius, Filecoin, Orchid, Truebill, Privacy, NtechLab, Hive, and Radical Meditation. 


Ellen Pao made headlines when she sued Silicon Valley-based venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, where she worked until 2012, alleging gender discrimination.

Ellen Pao wearing glasses and smiling at the camera © Provided by Business Insider Inc Ellen Pao

What she does: After leaving Kleiner Perkins, Pao served as the interim CEO of Reddit before resigning in 2015. Currently, she heads up the non-profit Project Include, which she founded in 2015 to create a fair workplace environment for tech workers. 

Companies she's invested in: Perkins has invested in a number of companies including Reddit, Periscope Data, GoTenna, Abacus, Interana, and Flex. 

Terri Hanson Mead is the former president of Silicon Valley-based venture group Sand Hill Angels.

a close up of a person wearing glasses and smiling at the camera © Provided by Business Insider Inc Terri Mead

What she does: In addition to her investment work, Hanson Mead serves as the president of Solutions2Projects, an IT consulting company. 

Companies she's invested in: Among the companies Mead has personally invested in are Zum, TomboyX, Tactical Haptics, Tueo Health, and Sandstone Diagnostics. 


Christine Tsai is the CEO of global venture capital fund 500 Startups, which focuses on early stage funding.

a person standing in a room © Provided by Business Insider Inc 500 Startups

What she does: Before founding 500 Startups, Tsai worked at Google and YouTube where she launched and marketed multiple developer products including Google Adsense, Google Analytics, YouTube syndication, and Developer Tools. 

Companies she's invested in: Twilio, SendGrid, Credit Karma, Grab, Carousell, Udemy, Kudo, Makerbot, Wildfire, Viki, Canva, IPSY, TheRealReal, and FabFitFun. 


Hope Taitz began her career as an investment banker before founding her own money-management firm, Catalyst Partners.

a woman smiling for the camera © Provided by Business Insider Inc Hope Taitz

What she does: Taitz has served as a board member to multiple companies including Summit Hotel Properties, Greenlight Capital, and Athene Holding. She specializes in advising companies in consumer-driven tech.  

Companies she's invested in: TapCommerce, Flatiron School, ATTN, The Skimm, and Rockets of Awesome.

Rima Reddy is a principal at XRC Labs, a New York-based early stage consumer and retail accelerator.

a woman smiling for the camera © Provided by Business Insider Inc Rima Reddy

What she does: Through XRC Labs, Reddy has sourced multiple deals including LuvThat and VisuWall. Prior to joining XRC Labs, Reddy worked as an equity research analyst at Goldman Sachs. 

 Companies she's invested in: Wheeli, Upton Belts

Jenny Fielding is the managing director of tech incubator Techstars, where she invests in internet of things, fintech, and healthcare companies.

a woman smiling for the camera © Provided by Business Insider Inc Jenny Fielding

What she does: In addition to her work at Techstars, Fielding runs The Eclectic Fund, an early stage, tech-focused fund. Previously, Fielding founded the mobile platform Switch-Mobile, which was acquired in 2009. 
Companies she's invested in: Fielding is invested in more than 70 companies including Latch, Chainalysis, Morty, Tempo Automation, and Parsley Health. 

Before becoming an investor, Diane Henry founded New York-based real estate company Red Real Estate.

a person posing for the camera © Provided by Business Insider Inc Diane Henry

What she does: Henry is the founder of  New York-based angel investment network Rogue Capital Collective.  She's an advocate for women and minorities in tech and speaks frequently on entrepreneurship and innovation. 

Companies she's invested in: Partpic, Mogul, Rentlogic, Financial Gym, Stylinity, and Arctaris Michigan. 


Fortune once named Esther Dyson as one of the world's most powerful women.

Esther Dyson

What she does: Esther Dyson has been involved in the tech industry since the early '80s. She's been active in policy as a chairman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and database maintenance nonprofit ICANN. She's the founder of health non-profit Wellville, where she currently serves as executive chairman. 
Companies she's invested in: Among Dyson's many investments are companies including 23andMe, Square, Evernote, ClassPass, and Flickr.

Jennifer Lum is the COO and co-founder of Massachusetts-based data company Forge.AI.

a person posing for the camera © Provided by Business Insider Inc Jennifer Lum

What she does: Before founding Forge.AI, Lum helped build four startups to acquisition including Adelphic, Quattro, and m-Qube.
Companies she's invested in: Lum has invested in more than 30 companies including Beeswax, Blokable, TribeHR, and Kinvey.

Laurel Touby is a former business journalist who now oversees pre-seed/early stage deals.

a person smiling for the camera © Provided by Business Insider Inc Laurel Touby

What she does: Early in her career, Touby created the journalist-resource website She later founded micro-venture capitalist firm Supernode Ventures.

Companies she's invested in: Braze, LaunchMetrics, PeerIQ, Credijusto, Click Therapeutics, and AlphaHQ.

Ali Rosenthal was one of Facebook's first business hires in 2006, where she was a founding member of the Facebook Mobile team.

a person posing for the camera © Provided by Business Insider Inc Ali Rosenthal

What she does: After leaving Facebook, Rosenthal joined Greylock Partners as an executive in residence, where she focused on investments in consumer mobile. She made her first angel investment in 2011.

Companies she's invested in: Rosenthal has invested in more than 20 companies including Ipsy, Envoy, Figma, Unit Q, Atticus, Nova Credit, and


Angela Lee is the founder of four startups as well as the investment network 37 Angels.

a woman smiling for the camera © Provided by Business Insider Inc Angela Lee

What she does: Lee started her career as a product manager and a strategy consultant at the consulting firm McKinsey. In addition to her work as an entrepreneur and investor, she serves as the associate dean of Columbia Business School, where she teaches courses in leadership and entrepreneurship.

Companies she's invested in: Lee is invested in 20 companies and three funds. Among them is Kinsa Health, Alice App, Board Vitals, and Lingo Live.

Kellie Menendez is the co-founder of decor and design company Half Full Decor.

a person posing for the camera © Provided by Business Insider Inc Kellie Menendez

What she does: Menendez was among the founding members of San Francisco-based early stage venture firm Oakhouse Capital. She's an active member of the angel investing group Pipeline Angels. 
Companies she's invested in: Saathi Inc, MadeBos, eShares (Carta Inc.), and Zipline. 

Valentina Vitols Bell is a former political consultant and entrepreneur who invests in companies that she believes will have a social impact.

a close up of a person © Provided by Business Insider Inc Valentina Vitols Bell

What she does: Vitols Bell is active in a number of angel communities including Pipeline Angels, Alliance of Angels, and Hera Angels. She's also a limited partner at Next Wave Ventures and Portafolia. 

Companies she's invested in: Among the companies Vitols Bell has invested in are Blokable, Evrnu, Wildfang, Blendoor, BridgeCare, and Cone & Steiner.

Shannon Grant has been involved in startups and venture funds for more than 15 years.

a woman smiling for the camera © Provided by Business Insider Inc Shannon Grant

What she does: Grant is the co-founder of Annie's Capital, a fund that invests in companies with mass-market appeal that have at least one female founder. She's an active figure within the blockchain community, where she launched the #SatoshiIsFemale campaign to get more women involved in the blockchain community. 

Companies she's invested in: Smitten Ice Cream, Coffee Meets Bagel, 4DX Ventures, 22X Fund, and DocCheer. 

Pocket Sun is a venture capitalist, entrepreneur, and co-founder of women's entrepreneur and investor network SoGal.

a woman smiling for the camera © Provided by Business Insider Inc Pocket Sun

What she does: Sun is an outspoken advocate on diversity and women's issues and a former TV host. Along with her SoGal co-founder Elizabeth Galbut, Sun has invested in 50 startups including Unbound, Little Spoon, and HelloAva.

Companies she's invested in: Among Sun's personal investments are Kairos, GuavaPass, HidrateSpark, Girls Labs, and Mogul. 


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