Could 2019 Be Tech Startup’s Year of the Woman?

Its shaping up to be a big year for women-led startups, as two have become unicorns and one today just went public.

Today, PagerDuty, a cloud computing company lead by Jennifer Tejada  (pictured), debuted on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “PD.” Although its launch there was obscured in the headlines by the announcement of Uber’s IPO, an IPO of a tech company lead by a female CEO is a rare occurrence that commands acknowledgement.

The startup, which became a unicorn last year, opened at $36.75 on its debut Thursday, more than 50% above its offering price of $24 a share. That puts it’s current valuation at more than $2.75 billion. The stock closed at 59% over its opening price at day’s end to $38.25 each.

Tejada told Market Watch in an interview that PagerDuty’s job is to make sure apps are running consistently.

“When something doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to, PagerDuty will signal the right person on the right team to let know there is a problem and start to pull in other subject matter experts,” she said. “Our customers expect us to be up when everybody else is down.”

PagerDuty is in good company among women led public startups.  This year, two other companies hit the billion dollar club:

  • Glossier, which markets beauty products, hit $1.2 billion in valuations. It is led by Emily Weiss.
  • Rent the Runway, which rents apparel to women, hit $1 billion. This unicorn is led by two women, Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fliess.

They both went public this year, joining an existing club of women led billion dollar businesses that include…

  • 23andMe, led by Linda Avey and Anne Wojcicki, is redefining genetics and is already valued at $2.5 billion.
  • Credit Karma, which provides free credit scores to consumers, is led by Nichole Mustard and is valued at $4 billion.
  • Canva, founded by Melanie Perkins, is a growing design firm that hit unicorn status last year.
  • Houzz, led by Adi Tatarko, helps homeowners personalize their properties.

And with a huge funding climate that’s drawing venture capital and other funding, more female-led startups could be waiting in the wings.

Photo credit: Jennifer Tejada, by PagerDuty



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