Springbank Announces $35 Million Fund
Dedicated to building the infrastructure to serve the long-overlooked needs of women and working families, Springbank is doubling down on its vision for a more equal future.
By: Courtney Leimkuhler, Elana Berkowitz, and Jen Koss
We started Springbank with the view that the needs of women and working families have been under-estimated, under-innovated, and under-invested. Areas like flexible and remote work, caregiving and care infrastructure, women’s health, and household financial wellness and productivity have historically been viewed as “women’s issues.” Nice to have; not need to have. We believe these are, in fact, “everyone issues” at the heart of a functioning society, labor market, and the economy at large.
We have been investing against this thesis since 2019 when we started pooling our personal capital, and then rallying our network of friends and former colleagues to create Springbank Collective, writing syndicate checks together. We have invested in 32 companies so far, with founders of all genders and backgrounds. Today, we are proud to announce a $35 million fund dedicated to our thesis with backing from many of those same Collective members, as well as world-class investors, including Union Square Ventures, Foundry Group, Bank of America, AIG, Investinor, Stardust Equity, and JP Morgan.
We believe in the same way that the world is coming to terms with the real costs of having built an economy addicted to artificially cheap fossil fuels, we’re fast approaching a reckoning that our economy is addicted to the artificially cheap labor of women and caregivers. We call this the trillion dollar opportunity hiding in plain sight and break it into three thematic categories: Career, Care, and Consumer.
Career is about building solutions that increase women’s workforce participation and improve the quality of jobs in industries where women predominate. Today’s labor market has 10 million open positions, but more importantly, significant demographic headwinds are driving structural worker shortages, particularly in areas like nursing and education. By 2030 we will need 20 new nurses for every one solar technician. If we could find ways to bring U.S. women’s labor force participation in line with men’s, we would add 7 million new workers to the U.S. workforce. Attracting, retaining, and promoting women is not simply a DEI issue — it’s a critical economic and business issue.
Our second theme, Care infrastructure, is an essential unlock to women’s labor force participation. Working-age women are 9x more likely than men to be out of the U.S. workforce due to care obligations, and care is the #1 reason (after retirement) why people leave the workforce. But care is often misunderstood as a “mommy issue” related primarily to childcare. On the contrary, research found that 90 million American workers provide unpaid care to children, aging parents, and loved ones with chronic conditions on top of their day jobs, with women doing twice as much as men. When we add up all of the activity in this exploding care economy, it represents a $640 billion market — more extensive than the U.S. pharmaceutical industry and U.S. hotel, car manufacturing, and social networking industries combined.
And third, our Consumer theme encompasses families’ financial health, wellness, and productivity. Today, most couples are dual earners, and in nearly half of heterosexual married couples, women earn about as much or more as their husbands. Overwhelmingly, women allocate a significant share of total spending to housing, healthcare, and groceries. At the same time, men are likelier to spend more on discretionary items such as transportation and dining out. Women currently control a third of U.S. household financial assets — more than $10 trillion. That number is expected to increase by 200% by 2030. This transfer of wealth presents a considerable opportunity to revisit healthier, more sustainable household spending in the areas that impact families most: food, housing, education, and healthcare.
We have partnered with companies innovating across these three core themes for the last four years. Companies like Wellthy — a digital and human-powered care concierge service helping families with complex care needs navigate the healthcare system. Or Guaranteed, a company reimagining hospice care. And Copper, a digital banking product that helps teens and their parents make smart financial decisions for their futures. These are just a few examples of the outstanding companies within our portfolio. With this fund, we look forward to continuing to partner with mission-led companies like these that are building for a more equal future.
We are incredibly grateful to our community of investors, advisors, partners, and team members who have helped us reach this critical milestone, and we realize the real work is ahead of us. Join us.