Today at the inaugural Vanity Fair Founders Fair in Brooklyn, Neil Blumenthal, co-founder and CEO of Warby Parker, openly shared his personal experience with raising money and how much it differed from his wife’s, Rachel Blumenthal, experience.
“When my wife was raising money,” the CEO shared with the crowd, “every male VC would ask, ‘How do you spend your time?’ She would say, ‘What do you mean?’ What they meant was, ‘You have kids.’” This was always a deterrent for male investors.
Rachel, who was in attendance, is the founder of the subscription kids’ clothing startup Rockets of Awesome. The brand sends a personalized box of 12 pieces of clothing per child at the beginning of each season, four times a year. Gwyneth Paltrow is a notable fan.
Neil went on to say, “When I raised money VCs would use kids as a reason to bond with me. ‘Oh I have a great nanny recommendation.’ It’s insanity.”
To her credit, Rachel did not go with the 99% of male investors who asked her that question. Nor was she deterred. Rockets of Awesome recently raised $12.5 million in Series A funding. The round was led by new investor August Capital, an early backer of e-commerce giant Zulily, joined by existing investors Forerunner Ventures and General Catalyst. This infusion of capital brings Rockets of Awesome's total fundraising to just under $20 million in the six months since launch.
Other notable takeaways include actress and founder of Draper James, Reese Witherspoon, telling the audience, “A guy has one hit and they say he’s going to win an Oscar. A guy has one movie at Sundance and he gets Jurassic Park,” she explained. “A woman has a hit at Sundance and she has to make six more movies.”
Reese also told the crowd, “If it’s not moving, monogram it.”
For more BTS on the day follow along on our IG Stories here.