Closing VC Deals

Southern, Female-Founded Startups Finish the Year with Funding

December closes with good tidings to four southern startup founders who announced venture capital deals this month – Xendoo, Motivo, Makeswift, and Possip

Nearly 40% of the US population and five of the top 10 metropolitan areas are located in the South. Yet, according to Pitchbook, only 8% of venture capital is distributed in southern states. As funding dollars struggle to find traction in the region, it feels especially significant to see women-led startups in the South get a piece of that venture capital pie. 

Nashville-based edtech platform, Possip just raised $1 million. This funding round is historical: Possip founder Shani Dowell is the first black woman in Tennessee – and one of fewer than 60 African American women in the United States – to raise more than $1 million in venture capital. 

Nationally, 2.8 percent of all VC funding went to female-founded startups this year. While this number may seem low, it also represents an unprecedented year of growth. 2019 is marked by $3.3 billion invested in women-led startups, a 10.6% increase from last year. More startup unicorns were born, too, with 21 women-founded startups hitting the $1-billion evaluation mark. 

As 2019 comes to a close, we (still wince using the phrase “female founder” instead of “founder,” yet importantly) celebrate the accomplishments of women leaders who are conquering the venture capital landscape. Learn about the successful funding rounds closed by southern startup founders,  Lil Roberts, Rachel Crickard, Lindsey Trinkle, and Shani Dowell: 


Founded by CEO Lil Roberts in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Xendoo takes the hassle out of small business bookkeeping with its cloud-based accounting software. Xendoo’s $3.5 million seed round was led by South Florida-based fund Malachi, with investments from Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, DeepWork Capital, the LAUNCH Syndicate, and others investments.


Atlanta-based CEO Rachel McCrickard is the founder of Motivo,  the first HIPAA-compliant video platform to connect clinical supervisors to mental health professionals. Motivo, a Techstars startup, recently closed a $2.2 million seed funding round led by Cox Enterprises, with investments from SEI Ventures, ECMC, Great Oaks VC, The Jump Fund, Emmett Partners, Next Wave Impact Fund, and other angel investors.


Led by co-founders Lindsey Trinkle, Alan Pledger, Miguel Oller, and Andrew Reifman in Atlanta, GA, Makeswift is a no-code website builder tool designed to give users full creative control. Makeswift raised $1.5 million in equity in its recent funding round, led by Active Capital with participation from other investors.


Founded by CEO Shani Dowell in Nashville, TN, Possip helps schools get real-time feedback from parents. Since launching in 2017, Possip has grown to serve 50,000 users in nearly 100 schools across the nation. Its multi-lingual engagement platform helps schools gather information from parents. It recently closed over $1-million in seed funding from the Launch TN Impact Fund and angel investors committed to high-impact companies.

Header Image Credit: CC 2019 RawPixel

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