Better Ventures Closes $21M for Fund II and Backs Werk
We are thrilled to announce our pre-seed investment in Werk, a New York-based startup that is building a marketplace of flexible work opportunities for women. The company raised $1M in the round with participation from seed-stage venture firms Precursor Ventures, Montage Ventures, Halogen Ventures, and Social Starts. Werk will use the capital to build out the product offering and grow their pool of job seekers within their membership-based model. The company fits nicely within our Opportunity investment theme (sub-theme: Future of Work), and we are bullish on their ability to unlock the immense latent potential of retaining more women in the workforce.
The co-founders of Werk - Anna Auerbach and Annie Dean - have immersed themselves in what they are branding the "flexiverse," a proprietary term they coined to refer to the attributes of truly flexible jobs that appeal to women, from working remotely and time-shifting to an infrequent travel schedule and working part time. Both of the women are "problem insiders" having juggled high-octane careers in management consulting and law while starting families, and thus they know first-hand the trials and tribulations women face in the workforce. Their goal is to reduce the career dropout rate among women by creating an alternative to the often binary choice women have to make between sacrificing career or family. To that end, they are partnering with Fortune 1000 companies as well as startups to design flexible work opportunities that not only appeal to women but will also give these companies a leg up in attracting and retaining top talent that may otherwise sit on the sidelines.
In other news, we are excited to report that we held a final close on Better Ventures Fund II just before the holidays! We finished up the raise with total commitments of $21M and brought on Prudential as a new institutional investor. TechCrunch covered the closing today. We've been busy putting that capital to work, as Werk represents our 11th investment in the fund, with two more deals on the docket we'll be announcing soon. As we look to augment our capacity to sustain the growth of our portfolio, we're hiring an Operations and Community Manager, and we'd love your help in identifying candidates. You can view the posting here, and please note that we're asking applicants to apply via a referral to one of us.