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Woman-led Clearwater company breaks through gender funding gap

Margie Manning



Jordann Windschauer, founder and CEO, Base Culture

Base Culture LLC, a Clearwater company that makes baked goods consistent with a paleo diet, has raised $3.1 million in an equity offering.

The company raised the funding from two investors in early April as part of an offering totaling $5 million, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

It’s at least the third capital raise for Base Culture, which previously raised $500,000 in 2017 and $250,000 in 2018, SEC filings show.

The company did not disclose how it plans to use the new funding and did not immediately return calls asking for additional comment.

Base Culture, founded by Jordann Windschauer in 2012, seems to have broken through the gender gap in funding for startups led by women. Women led 17 percent of all startups in 2017, but received just 2 percent of all venture capital funding in the U.S., according to Quartz.

Female founded companies accounted for 2.2 percent of total venture capital deal value and 5.5 of total venture capital deal count in the first quarter of 2019, a report from PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association said.

Windschauer, who is also CEO of Base Culture, founded what was formerly called The Paleo Box LLC after she tried a 30-day paleo challenge. A paleo diet typically includes lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, according to Mayo Clinic.

Windschauer was hooked on the diet but missed sweets, so she created a product line of snacks and sweets with only natural ingredients and flavors, a profile on the company’s website said.

What started as a side hustle expanded and the product line now includes breads, sticky granola, energy bites, brownies, almond butters and more.

In 2016, the company opened a 44,000-square-foot headquarters and manufacturing plant in Clearwater, the company said in a press release. It can produce 500,000 units a day, allowing Base Culture to deliver products to both large grocery chains and independent stores nationwide, the company’s website said.

In 2017, Walmart (NYSE: WMT) said it would carry several of the Base Culture products.

There are now some 5,000 locations throughout the U.S. that sell the products.

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