The female cofounder of an Aussie startup has revealed the hidden misogyny and sexual harassment that exists within the Silicon Valley investment world. In an honest and at times uncomfortable open letter to anonymous angel investor 'Phil', Charlie Thompson, CEO of profit-for-purpose business The Clean Collective, exposes the manipulation and gas-lighting experienced by female-led start-ups, when raising capital in the predominantly male world of venture capital funding.
Having met angel investor ‘Phil’ at a Silicon Valley conference, Thompson found herself inappropriately propositioned when attending a follow-up lunch meeting to discuss his interest in The Clean Collective. Unknown to Thompson, the lunch reservation had been made within walking distance of the investor’s photography studio, where he expressed a desire to photograph Thompson.
“During lunch, he confessed he’d wanted to ‘capture’ me at his studio as soon as he met me at the investment conference, despite the level of business discussion he’d engaged me in at the time; that if I went to his studio, which was conveniently located near the restaurant, “he couldn't be sure what would happen” and that my dismissive reaction was unusual, as most women become CEOs “because they want fame”.
“This well-rehearsed act and his exploitation of financial power demonstrate some of the flaws in the broken system of capital funding,” comments Thompson.
Fuelled by her experience on the investment circuit, Thompson and her business partners Charli Ferrand and Georgia Lawson are proud to be utilising new legislation around equity crowdfunding, working alongside the country’s leading platform Equitise, to raise their target of $1.5 million.
“By opening up equity to everyday Australians and the crowd, we’re looking forward to bringing in investors who are passionate about changing the future of our planet and the future of humanity, together. Equity crowdfunding provides us a way to remain a community owned by our community, rather than selling capital to a single party that doesn’t align with our ethics or purpose,” Thompson said.
“The Clean Collective’s mission is much bigger than an investor’s cheque book. We’re using technology to empower people to tackle climate change and take ownership of their health,” she added.
Thompson’s first-hand experience in Silicon Valley sent her back to Australia with next-level amounts of clarity, grit and determination to find investors that respect people and respect the planet.
The Clean Collective is the fastest-growing marketplace for sustainable purchases in Australia. The online hub brings together products and information on wellness and sustainability to empower people to tackle environmental epidemics and take ownership of their health.
Having built a new standard that guides safe and sustainable consumption, The Clean Collective sells approved personal care, cleaning and reusable products on its online shop, while publishing information on ways to create a healthier and more eco-friendly lifestyle on its personal development blog.
The team’s raising capital to grow their ecommerce operation while expanding their business with an app and personal development products, in partnership with experts in wellness and sustainability.
In less than two years, the company has earned more than $600K in revenue from over 10K transaction, attracted over 400,000 visitors, and amassed over 80,000 followers and subscribers. Now, they’re seeking investment to scale the brand domestically and overseas to drive bigger impact for humanity and our planet.
Investors will profit from The Clean Collective’s success; receive discounts, early bird access and exclusive passes; and help the company remove 37,500 pieces of plastic pollution from the environment and plant 12,500 trees when they hit their target of raising $1.5M on the Equitise crowdfunding platform.
For more information please contact:
Nancy McDonald // NMD PR
M: +61 474 432 437
About Equitise: Equitise is an online equity crowdfunding platform connecting startups and high growth businesses with a broad range of investors. We help businesses grow and thrive in a simple, intuitive and social way by disrupting the investment marketplace and removing the traditional funding barriers and costs. Like any investment, Crowd-Sourced Funding (CSF) is risky. Investors may lose their money and the business may not achieve its objectives. You should consider the CSF offer document and the general CSF risk warning contained in the offer document in deciding whether to apply under the offer. Equitise was the 2019 winner of Equity Crowdfunding platform of the year at The Fintech Australia Awards.
About The Clean Collective: The Clean Collective is an online shop and blog. It sells natural, organic and eco-friendly personal care, cleaning and reusable products that meet its safety and sustainability standard. And it publishes information on how to live a healthier, more sustainable life on its blog.
Like any investment, Crowd-Sourced Funding (CSF) is risky. Investors may lose their money and the business may not achieve its objectives. You should consider the CSF offer document and the general CSF risk warning contained in the offer document in deciding whether to apply under the offer.