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Female founders who broke through the VC glass ceiling

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Venture capital funding is at its highest level since the dot-com bubble, and female entrepreneurs are amassing more from VC's war chest. Of the 1,090 start-ups that raised Series A rounds in 2014, 10 percent were founded by women, according to a CrunchBase analysis. That was up from 2013, when women-run firms were 5 percent of VC funding.

It's a start, and venture funds devoted to women-run companies, such as Female Founders Fund, AOL's BBG Ventures and Valor Ventures, plan to change the equation more. Lisa Calhoun, general partner at Valor, said 94 percent of the VC industry is male, and an all-male VC views a female founder as a "hard-to-define financial factor, and that goes on the risk side of the VC equation." But as more female founders step up, that investing pattern will change. "The model will include female founders, but we're not quite there yet," she said.

Here are 13 female-run start-ups—ranked in ascending order by their funding levels—that have raised a combined $2.8 billion, according to investment tracker PitchBook.

—By Krysia Lenzo, special to CNBC.com
Posted 30 July 2015

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