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Leading Voices: Investing in the Future of Care

Laura Gerson, the director of Women and Worth, interviewed Magnify Ventures’ Julie Wroblewsk and Halogen Ventures’ Jesse Draper, on the untapped potential of the childcare industry. Here’s what you need to know.

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During this month’s episode of the Women and Worth Leading Voice Series, Lauren Gerson, the director of Women and Worth, interviewed Julie Wroblewski, the co-founder and managing partner of Magnify Ventures, and Jesse Draper, the founder and general partner of Halogen Ventures, on investing in the future of care. 

Before launching Magnify Ventures with her partner Joanna Drake, Wroblewski was involved with institutional-scale family offices and mission-oriented organizations. 

Draper recently founded Halogen Ventures—a company investing in new, female-founded consumer technology including Future Family, consumer healthcare, and financial technology. 

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The Women and Worth community aims to inspire women to reach past their boundaries and provides them with the informational resources to do so.

In order to show why the future of care is such a prevalent topic, Wroblewski and Draper emphasize the opportunity to create wealth for women through funding the care economy. 

Draper elaborates on Halogen Ventures’ goals for their second fund: “We want to solve childcare. This is broken.” Even though countless companies such as WeCare are reaching incredible revenue goals, Draper wants to “double down.” Her investors originally opposed the idea, arguing that childcare is not a big enough market. To overcome this obstacle and prove to her investors that childcare is, in fact, a big enough market, Draper undertook a study which analyzed “what women are missing, what families are missing, and what they’re willing to pay for” in terms of childcare needs. Through this study, she learned that Future Families is a $7.5 trillion opportunity and was able to take this information back to her investors.

In defining the future of care and the care economy, Wroblewski dwells on the fact that “​​we’re still defining this space and the language that we use to describe this is evolving all the time.” In general, Wroblewski says, care within her field is referred to as “energy and money that people put into caring for themselves from the time they’re born until the end of life.” Wroblewski clarifies that the care economy is broken into separate sectors which are valued differently—whether it is $136 billion in infant and child care or $151 billion in care for aging adults.

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When Laura asked “Are there any good companies or stories you want to share with us? Who are you currently invested in?” the responses from both women leaned towards the idea of diversity in the care economy. They both highlighted the idea that care comes in many forms, and it is not only limited to products. Wroblewski mentioned a partnership with Papa, “which really is in the process of creating a whole new category of non-medical care and companionship for older adults.” The company focuses on providing the elderly with gig workers to help with daily needs including transportation and shopping. Another inspiring example that Jesse Draper mentions is Babylist—a baby registry company that recently launched Babylist Health, which improves the process of ordering a breast pump through health insurance. 

When Gerson asked about the path that led both Wroblewski and Draper to become venture capitalists, they noted other women in the industry who inspired them. Now, they aim to provide the same inspiration for generations to come. Draper feels particularly passionate about empowering women in every field to become more familiar with personal finances. She concluded with a message for the audience, saying, “make sure you’re there for every financial advisor meeting. Even if you don’t understand it, the more exposure you have, the more you will learn.”

The next episode of the Women and Worth Leading Voices series will be on April 5th with Kelli Arena from Golden Hour Ventures and Hallie Kaplan of Sydecar. Worth’s annual Women and Worth summit takes place in New York on Wednesday, April 26th. To find more information about the events and speakers, visit the Worth website.

View the full episode on Investing in the Future of Care here. 

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