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OKGN WMAN Launches ‘Fund 2’ and Invests in Rainstick and Apricotton

OKGN WMAN has closed a second fund with 30 women investors and completed investments in Rainstick and Apricotton, both Canadian-based, women-led, social impact businesses. The first OKGN WMAN Fund, which originally kicked off on International Women’s Day 2021, is now fully invested and closed, after also making a final investment in Rainstick.

“Between the two funds we’ve now brought together more than 40 women investors from across the Okanagan. The group spans from mid-career to retired. It also includes a wide range of occupations. We’ve got lawyers, architects, programmers, marketers, project managers, interior designers, consultants, doctors, accountants, financial advisors and academics.

<who>Contributed by OKGN WMAN

Many are entrepreneurs who are building or have sold businesses. With that range of experience at the table it makes for far better due diligence and decision-making,” says General Partner, Camille Saltman, one of the founders of the organization.

Sherri Faloon, another co-founder and General Partner says OKGN WMAN is focused on helping close the large funding gap faced by women founders and giving women hands-on opportunities to sharpen their investment skills, “Women-led teams achieve significantly higher financial performance yet women receive less than 2% of start-up capital.”

Rainstick Shower, North America’s first circulating Shower is a Kelowna-based clean tech company revolutionizing the water technology space and just named one of TIME Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2023. RainStick addresses the pressing issues of water and energy conservation across North America, offering up to 80% water savings, up to 80% energy savings and 2x the standard flow rate.

With the RainStick app, homeowners can seamlessly monitor savings, and maintenance, and customize the shower experience to perfectly suit your preferences. While delivering all this, it is also a more hygienic option than traditional showers with a low maintenance, built-in self-cleaning system after every shower.

“We're extremely thrilled to have the continued support from OKGN WMAN who are helping us realize our mission of building water technology that allows people to thrive using only 50 litres of water per person, per day. Sustainability is no longer a nice to have, but a need to have when it comes to new builds and remodelling projects, especially in certain areas of North America where water shortages are part of everyday life. 2024 will no doubt be a milestone year as we scale our business model across North America,” says Alisha McFetridge, Co-founder & CEO, Rainstick.

Apricotton is a Canadian-based teen apparel brand that kicked off designing the only bras globally that grow as girls grow, helping the 90% of teen girls embarrassed to wear their first bra.

Apricotton bras are 4x stretchier than competitors’ bras and have adjustable features, so girls can wear their bras from when they’re flat-chested to fully developed. Apricotton is playing in the $142B global teen apparel industry, projected to grow by 24% by 2025 - the fastest growing segment within fashion. The team has also built a loyal Gen Z community called the Sisterly Advice Platform which acts as older sisters to the company’s 150K followers on TikTok and Instagram.

"We're proud to bring OKGN WMAN on board as an investor to co-sign on Apricotton’s vision to ensure no girl goes through puberty alone. Funding aside, we’re grateful to grow alongside strategic female investors as the right mentorship and support system goes a long way for Gen Z female founders like ourselves," says Jessica Miao, Co-founder & CEO, Apricotton.

According to a 2023 Pitchbook study, all-women teams raised 1.9% of VC funds in 2022, a percentage that skyrocketed to 17.2% when the team was mixed-gender. A Kauffman Fellows study shows that privately-held tech companies led by women are more capital-efficient, achieve 35% higher return on investment, and, when venture-backed, bring in 12% higher revenue than male-owned tech companies.

In a 2019 McKinsey analysis investigating the business case for diversity, encompassing 15 countries and more than 1,000 large companies, companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile. A substantial differential likelihood of outperformance—48%—separates the most from the least gender-diverse companies.

Okanagan Women’s Mentoring and Angel Network Investment (OKGN WMAN) Funds 1 and 2 are comprised of more than 40 women leaders from across the Okanagan and beyond. Our goal is to level the playing field faced by women owned businesses and diverse management teams seeking investment with a particular focus on social impact ventures in Western Canada and fem tech across Canada.

In the OKGN WMAN model, partners meet regularly to discuss opportunities, vet deal flow and make investment decisions. Each participant invests $5,500 for a pool of more than $150,000, which is then used to co-invest in companies the group thinks will generate the best return.

Applications for funding can be submitted here.



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