When it comes to closing the gender equality gap in entrepreneurship, many barriers remain to be addressed. However, female entrepreneurs in the startup industry are now rising and have been taking center stage.
Fortune recently released a list of the 15 Most Powerful Women in Startups based on PitchBook valuation data.
Eight women on the list are notable Asian women who are either founders of highly valued startups where they hold important jobs or chief executives of highly valued firms.
Without further ado, here are the most powerful women in charge of the most valuable private companies in the world today.
Cofounder and CEO, Canva
Valuation: $26 billion
The Malaysian-Austrailian cofounder and CEO of design software maker Canva was valued at $40 billion in 2021, which makes it the highest-valued female-founded startup in the world. Launching their new office product, the company is ready to take on Microsoft and Google.
Cofounder and director, Byju’s
Valuation: $22 billion
Gokulnath cofounded India’s most valuable startup, Byju’s. The firm’s aim is to make learning engaging and effective by leveraging deep pedagogy and cutting edge technology.
Cofounder and president, Xiaohongshu
Valuation: $20 billion
Based in Shanghai, the social e-commerce app Xiaohongshu (translation: “Little Red Book”) has been key to the rise of experiential shopping in China. The innovative platform integrates the authentic content shared by its community with commerce, quickly becoming one of the most popular destinations for making lifestyle decisions.
Cofounder and CFO, OfBusiness; cofounder and CEO, Oxyzo
Valuations: $5 billion (OfBusiness); $1 billion (Oxyzo)
Kalra along with her husband Asish Mohapatra, cofounded the carbon management business OfBusiness and the digital lender Oxyzo. OfBusiness provides India’s SMEs access to cash flow-based financing for buying raw materials through its NBFC ‘Oxyzo Financial Services’.
Cofounder and CEO, Houzz
Valuation: $4 billion
The Israeli-American cofounder and CEO started the home remodeling and design platform where people can browse and save beautiful photos of inspiring home, as well as find and hire the right design and construction professionals.
Cofounder and CEO, Papaya Global
Valuation: $3.7 billion
Papaya Global is a payroll platform trusted across 160+ countries and all types of employment. Based in Israel, Guez cofounded the startup after a long career in global workforce management.
Cofounder and CEO, Spring Health
Valuation: $2 billion
Koh became the youngest woman to run a multibillion-dollar company when the startup hit its $2 billion valuation in 2021. With the mission to eliminate every barrier to mental health, Spring Health offers mental health care services as an employer-provided health benefit.
Cofounder and CEO, Optimism
Valuation: $1.7 billion
Optimism is an Ethereum-based decentralized infrastructure platform that allows for instant transactions and scalable smart contracts.The company valued at $1.7 billion as it worked to scale Ethereum.