In a new funding round, the Rebel Girls brand has raised $13 million to build "an immersive online/offline experience designed to inspire a generation of confident girls to shepherd in a more gender equal world," according to the announcement. Lead investors include Owl Ventures and Base10 Partners, with other investors including Mindshift Capital, Emmeline Ventures, and such individuals as Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Joelle Kayden, Deborah Mei, Wenda Millard, Brit Morin, Simone Otus Coxe, and Kat Taylor.
The company has also named four people to its board of directors: Christina Miller, former head of WarnerMedia's kids and family division; Tory Patterson, cofounder of Owl Ventures; Rebel Girls cofounder Elena Favilli; and Rebel Girls CEO Jes Wolfe. Adeyemi Ajao, cofounder of Base10 Partners, serves as board observer. An advisory board has also been established, with director Jill Culton, former Gymboree CEO Lynda Gustafson, Pendo senior v-p of product Tatyana Mamut, Refinery29 founder Justin Stefano, Broadway producer Randi Zuckerberg, and more.
“Confidence is the single most important predictor of how kids see their future. Right now, girls think they are less smart and less capable than boys. Girls are twice as likely to suffer depression than boys and three times as likely to experience cyberbullying. ” said Wolfe. “It’s time for this to change. Rebel Girls will be relentless in leading and innovating until the confidence gap has disappeared. We are proud to be a trusted source for parents and an inspiring brand for girls.”
Over the past few years, the Rebel Girls brand has grown from a self-started book series into a budding multimedia empire. In 2016, its founders, Francesca Cavallo and Elena Favilli, made crowdfunding history by raising more than $1.2 million from close to 25,000 backers in 75 countries in a combined Kickstarter and Indiegogo InDemand book ordering campaign for their first illustrated children’s book, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls.
The book, which they published and distributed themselves through their children’s media start-up, Timbuktu Labs, stayed in the top 10 of the New York Times bestsellers list for 42 weeks. Other books have followed in multiple series, including those published under the Rebel Girls imprint, established in 2019.