A new venture capital fund that’s focusing on women entrepreneurs has made its inaugural investment in Ivy Corp., a Redmond company that’s attempting to transform the way teams communicate at work, GeekWire has learned.

The Women’s Venture Capital Fund, with offices in Palo Alto, Portland and LA, is among the backers in the company’s new $887,000 investment round. As a result of the investment, terms of which were not disclosed, Silicon Valley venture capitalist Helen MacKenzie has joined the company’s board.

Ivy is led by founder and CEO Mary Jesse, a former AT&T Wireless and McCaw Cellular vice president who previously served as chief technology officer at RadioFrame Networks.

The cash will be used to market Ivytalk, a new product that provides simultaneous, two-way group messaging.

The service is designed to intelligently route message so a single email, for example, can reach all intended parties in their preferred way: Email, SMS, Facebook or more.

“Customers continuously let us know Ivytalk fills communication needs in a way no other system can,” Jesse tells GeekWire.

Ivy’s chief technology officer is Steve Knox, the founder and CEO of software consulting shop IS Squared. He formerly worked as a software engineer at Fluke Corp. Advisers include Nick Kauser, the former Clearwire CEO who now is a partner at Craig McCaw’s Eagle River Holdings.

Like the name suggests, the Women’s Venture Capital Fund is targeting female entrepreneurs. The company’s Web site explains the mission:

“The fund capitalizes on the intersection of the expanding pipeline of women founders and gender-diverse management teams who are creating capital efficient companies with stiletto high growth rates. We see this nexus offering epic opportunities for wealth creation.”

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline


  • Ssigl

    Go Mary!  It’s fantastic to have one of region’s most seasoned female tech execs not only raise capital but draw in another out of state venture investor to the region. 

  • http://twitter.com/cliffrudolph Cliff Rudolph

    Congrats Mary!

  • Cindy Engstrom

    This is exciting news to see a great idea funded.  Congrats!  Women’s Venture Cap fund sounds promising in its mission and their ability to get really big ideas.  Hopefully they will take a peek at more emerging companies in Seattle. 

  • http://www.informing-arts.com Christine Thompson

    Well-deserved congratulations to Mary, Steve and the rest of the team. I hope this investment helps fuel your go-to-market ambitions, so customers can benefit from your innovations!

  • Donn

    Well deserved Mary – go for it. 

Job Listings on GeekWork