Three months after the launch of XFactor Ventures, the women-led seed fund for female entrepreneurs, the firm has revealed its first eight startup investments.

XFactor was launched in July by Boston venture capital firm Flybridge Capital as a way to address the gap in funding for female entrepreneurs. Investments from the $3 million fund are meant to serve as “quit your day job” money to help the entrepreneurs get started.

The new firm was started by Kate Castle and Chip Hazard of Flybridge, but its investment team is made up of female entrepreneurs spanning Boston, New York and San Francisco. The investment team members are Anna Palmer of Wondermile, Danielle Morrill of Mattermark, Erica Brescia of Bitnami, Jessica Mah of inDinero, Aubrie Pagano of Bow & Drape, Kathryn Minshew of The Muse and Liz Whitman of Manicube.

Castle, a marketing partner at Flybridge, told BostInno that XFactor made its first eight investments after reviewing nearly 400 deals and meeting with over 100 companies. While none of the eight startups are Boston-based, one of the co-founders, Ellen Chisa, was previously in Boston, where she worked as a product executive for Lola Travel. Castle said she hopes XFactor will have a couple Boston companies to share soon.

Here are XFactor’s first eight startup investments:


Founded by Maran Nelson and Michael Akilian, Clara is a virtual assistant that helps coordinate and schedule meetings. Danielle Morrill led XFactor’s investment in the San Francisco startup’s $7 million Series A, which was led by Basis Set Ventures.

Court Buddy

Court Buddy is a legal tech startup founded by Kristina Jones and James Jones Jr. that helps consumers find and hire solo attorneys for a flat rate. Aubrie Pagano led XFactor’s participation in the Palo Alto startup’s $1 million seed round, which was led by LDR Ventures.

Ellen and Paul’s New Startup

Founded by Ellen Chisa and Paul Biggar, this new West Coast startup doesn’t have an official name yet, but its goal is to help people build a complete scalable app in an afternoon. XFactor’s Erica Brescia led the seed investment for an undisclosed amount.


Everywear is an ecommerce software provider that helps personalize the customer shopping experience by following their preferences, behaviors and shopping patterns. Founded by Brandon Holley, the New York startup raised a $1 million seed round that included XFactor’s Anna Palmer as an investor.


Founded by Lisa Fetterman, Nomiku makes a sous vide device it says “is the most powerful home immersion circulator on the market.” It also provides a meal delivery service that takes advantage of the device. The company raised a $3 million strategic round led by Samsung that included participation from XFactor’s Ooshma Garg and Erica Brescia.


Powered by live chat and video streaming, O.School is a sex education platform founded by Andrea Barrica. The company raised a pre-seed round led by XFactor’s Jessica Mah.

The Beans

The Beans is an automated financial planning platform aimed at middle-class America. Founded by Melissa Pancoast and Matthieu Tourne, the company raised a pre-seed investment co-led by XFactor’s Jessica Mah and Erica Brescia.


Founded by Megan Nunes and Tomas Svitek, Vinsight provides an artificial intelligence platform that helps farmers make better forecasts for crop yields. The company raised a seed round of an undisclosed amount led by XFactor’s Danielle Morrill.