A few weeks ago, my coworker, Connie Loizos, wrote a post entitled: With No Shortage of Angels, a Question: Where Are the Women?
Now: An answer. As it turns out, a number of the women have been in fundraising mode. Illuminate Ventures, an early-stage firm with a list of mostly female advisors that reads like a Who’s Who of prominent women in technology, has raised just over $8.5 million toward a planned $35 million fund, according to a securities filing.
Oakland, Calif.-based Illuminate is founded by managing director Cindy Padnos (pictured), formerly director of Outlook Ventures and, before that, founder and CEO of Vivant, a workforce management software company. Other members of the team include Rebecca Norlander, a former general manager at Microsoft; Cliff Higgerson, a founding partner of ComVentures; and Pia Camenzind, its CFO, a former PwC auditor for venture firms.
The firm lists five portfolio companies, in areas such as search engine optimization, data management, and sales performance software. One of its portfolio companies, search optimization platform provider BrightEdge, raised a $12.6 million round in March from backers including Illuminate, Battery Ventures and Altos Ventures. Another portfolio company, Red Aril, a data management platform developer, sold to iCrossing, a digital marketing company, in December for an undisclosed sum. According to its website, the firm targets “U.S.-based high growth, capital efficient companies in selected sectors within the high-tech landscape.”
Illuminate is also heavy on advisors. It lists forty on its website, including some well-known names in Silicon Valley such as Diane Greene, co-founder and former CEO of VMWare, Donna Dubinsky, co-founder and former CEO of Palm, and Kathy Levinson, managing director of the angel group Golden Seeds and a former E*Trade president.
No one from the firm had responded to requests for comment as of press time.
Image credits: Light concept photo courtesy of Shutterstock. Photo of Cindy Padnos from Illuminate Ventures.