Expect The Wing to open more doors in the near future: On Wednesday, the popular all-women network announced $75 million in Series C funding, bringing it to a total of $117.5 million in just two years.
The hefty investment was led by Sequoia, with participation from new investors Upfront Ventures, Airbnb, and existing investors NEA and WeWork.
Contributors also include a variety of bold-face names across numerous industries: members of the Time’s Up leadership, such as actress Kerry Washington, TV producer Katie McGrath, former White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, and two of the Time’s Up Legal Defense cofounders, lawyer Robbie Kaplan and political consultant Hilary Rosen. In addition, four Women’s National Soccer Team players–Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Meghan Klingenberg, and Becky Sauerbrunn–contributed to the round.
“The Wing’s mission is the advancement of women through community, and we could not be more excited to partner with such a powerful community of women who lead their fields in tech, Hollywood, policy, and sports,” The Wing’s cofounder and CEO, Audrey Gelman, said in a press statement. “This round is proof positive that women can be on both sides of the table.”
Since launching in 2016, The Wing has grown to over 6,000 members and opened six spaces in major U.S. cities, such as New York and San Francisco. The female-led venture shows no signs of slowing down: In the coming year, new locations will open in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, London, Toronto, and Paris.
The Wing has also ventured beyond its club walls in the last year with a strategic media expansion. Its first podcast, No Man’s Land, profiles historic women, specifically “rule-breakers and names that may not have made headlines,” said Gelman. That accompanies The Wing’s biannual magazine, which describes itself as a publication “for women with something to say and nothing to prove.”
Even in the realm of live events, The Wing has proven itself able to think outside the box. This past summer saw the first Camp No Man’s Land, which more or less set the bonding experience of the club in an upstate New York campground. Roughly 500 Wing members packed their overnight bags to roast marshmallows and swap Instagram handles.
“We did something that was sort of counterintuitive: We went physical first as a brand,” Gelman previously told Fast Company, noting the challenges of fundraising for a physical concept. Early on, the cofounder battled a perception that The Wing was a “novel idea” that couldn’t compete at venture scale.
“A lot of female founders are told that,” said Gelman, “because [investors] think that the addressable market isn’t big enough . . . or they underestimate the power of the female consumer.”
The Wing’s impressive investments prove it’s nowhere near a novel concept–that a wide swath of women crave a community atmosphere. It’s why last year the collective saw a $32 million round of funding from coworking behemoth WeWork.
The company’s success puts Gelman in a small category of female founders–like Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe–catering to a gender often ignored in Silicon Valley. As a whole, female entrepreneurs and leaders struggle for equality: Only 2% of venture capital funding went toward female founders last year. And the percentage of women CEOs at Fortune 500 companies declined.
“There are just so many incredible women who are starting businesses and breaking records,” stressed Gelman. “If I were an investor, I would go long on women.”