BRIDGEWATER, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, zant., the revolutionary mental health app focused on delivering a low-cost support platform for more than 25 categories, is thrilled to announce Jennifer Abele as an investor. Did you know that only 14% of investment professionals in venture capital (VC) in the U.S. are women? (According to a study by Deloitte). What may be even more startling is to know that, the Harvard Business Review found that out of billions of dollars that funded startups across the nation, only 2.3% of those startups were women founded and led.
Although investing in women-led startups is scarce, a study conducted by the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School found that “VC firms with 10% more female investing partner hires make more successful investments at the portfolio company level, have 1.5% higher fund returns, and see 9.7% more profitable exits,” even though women are only about 11% of investing partners at VC firms.
While the gap in funding for women-led companies leads to an even larger problem for women who are seeking the funds necessary to grow their ideas into larger operations, a new digital mental health company, zant., has announced its first woman investor, Jennifer Abele.
zant.’s mission is to create a simpler approach to support with an effortless search and favorite feature to find providers with same-day or same-week availability. The app also offers complimentary first sessions with paid sessions at $25 or less for students and direct communication between highly-skilled providers and experts for those who need their services most. The company believes that “one size does not fit all” when it comes to finding the right support and that finding support should be a simple, stress-free, and hopeful experience.
The platform’s first woman investor, Jennifer Abele, is an accomplished businesswoman, currently serving as the Chief Partnership Officer for The University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee and an active angel investor. Abele’s background is strategic to zant., not only as a private investor with a focus on women-led companies, but also in government and higher ed leadership, with strengths in finance, negotiation, and government relations.
Abele is enthusiastic about the opportunity to help people who might not otherwise have access to quality mental health care. “Investing in zant. was one of the easier investment decisions I’ve made,” said Abele. “The company has the magic combination of a highly capable and determined founder with a compelling story, a unique business model, a fantastic team, and a highly marketable brand.”
“The most intriguing data point for me was from a Boston Consulting Group study which concluded that women as founders bring in twice as much revenue per dollar invested as their male counterparts,” she said. “Why wouldn’t I put my money where the data shows a better return?”
Additionally, the problem zant. is trying to solve hits close to home for Abele where according to the National Alliance of Mental Illness of Wisconsin, approximately 2.2 million people (in Wisconsin) live in a community that does not have enough mental health professionals, and “In February 2021, 36.4% of adults in Wisconsin reported symptoms of anxiety or depression with 18.6% being unable to get needed counseling.” Abele continued her support towards creating accessibility of mental health services by saying, “with zant., I could see the potential for a network effect where the total market for mental health support could actually expand the potential for a network effect where the digital marketplace being created might inspire greater demand for mental health services overall.”
“During the summer of 2022, we experienced a ‘drought’ of investment due to economic uncertainty. We pitched 147 investors until we met Jennifer,” said Maggie Rose Macar, CEO and Founder of zant. “It became quickly evident that Jennifer was a woman with a mission to leave this world a better place, wherever possible. With her incredible background of expertise and mission of supporting other women, our team couldn’t be more confident in our future and excited to have her support along the way.”
Women are certainly working to level the playing field in the startup realm. As a matter of fact, “Women started 49% of new businesses in the US in 2021, up from 28% in 2019,” according to the World Economic Forum.
Just last year, 2021 was another record-breaking year for investments, overall, and “Massive, late-stage deals drove total fundraising in the U.S. to $330 billion in 2021 — nearly doubling the industry’s previous record in 2020,” according to Bloomberg. Nevertheless, in a study published by PitchBook, companies established exclusively by women received 2.4% of the entire funds invested in venture-backed startups in the United States for 2021.
Women leaders are clearly demonstrating their strengths with high returns and profitability, but are still being disadvantaged in capital raising. With women like Jennifer Abele, who is dedicating her investments towards women founders, the future of funding in women-led companies grows greater. In 2023, Jennifer is doubling down on her commitment to supporting women and undercapitalized founders through her new venture capital firm, VC 414
zant. launched on the iOS App Store on September 1st, 2022 for users and professionals to sign up. Users can search through experts from their selected tags based on their specific needs and chat, schedule, and pay their providers in one place.
zant. is a mobile app offering over 25 categories of support at low costs with discounted student and standard rates. We envision a world where mental health services are accessible, affordable, and still remain high-quality.
For press inquiries: