Pando

"It’s harder for a women’s site to raise money... no question"

By Sarah Lacy , written on November 30, 2015

From The Lessons from the Trenches Desk

Back when Bustle launched, the Internet exploded that Bryan Goldberg-- a young Rodney Dangerfield who previously built a site for armchair quarterbacks-- would dare to take on a women’s site as his next challenge.

The rage machine was in such tilt that Goldberg would up buying back his shares from one investor.

Amid all that hand-wringing, it seemed lost on many pundits that one of the most successful women’s media sites in the digital era, Refinery29, is also run by two men. Those two men-- Justin Stefano and Philippe von Borries -- were our guest at last month’s PandoMonthly. They’ve raised some $80 million to date and are one of just six content companies valued north of $100 million.

In the clip below, we talk about how two dudes who met at 16 wound up leading a women’s site that was-- in fairness-- also co-founded by two women, who don’t share the CEO title.  We also talked about the distinct challenges of raising money if you are a female founder, versus a founder of any gender building a company for women.

The two argued that no matter what gender they were, raising money for a women’s site was brutal, because most VCs are men. Without two excellent female investors-- Shana Fisher and Floodgate’s Ann Miura-Ko-- who saw the promise early on, Refinery29 might have never raised that first round.

The entire interview is available in our members' area.

PandoMonthlyR29 from Pando Media on Vimeo.