The HERmesa Story

HERmesa arose out of a conviction that more women needed a seat at the table as both early stage investors and entrepreneurs (“mesa” being Spanish for ‘table’).

"We are going to need a much bigger table..."

And, it literally came together, at a table, in early 2020 when HERmesa founder, Marla Shapiro, convened 5 women for dinner and asked them “Shall we try angel investing together?”

From that small group, HERmesa has now grown to a community of over 170 women and aligned men. We invest together and provide ‘smart capital’ to female co-founded start-ups at pre-seed and seed stage.

Who we are

We are younger, more entrepreneurial and more diverse than other angel syndicates.

New angels
Experienced angels

Meet some of our investors

We are incredibly proud of our welcoming community & the fact that HERmesa is providing more women with that seat at the table.


Anna Andreou, Chemasterty


Cat Jones, Byway


Cat Jones, Byway

Zahra Subjally

Hermesa has been the perfect way for me to add value to the startup ecosystem and to start my angel investment journey. Not only have I met some amazing female founders and invested in some great companies, but working on deals with the other angels in the Hermesa network has been invaluable to my development as an investor.

Michal Zitron

Angel investing always interested me, but without having an experienced, inclusive guide, it’s a difficult arena to enter. HERmesa has welcomed me, held my hand but also pushed me out of my comfort zone, in the best way. I’ve connected with inspiring, talented professionals who I learn from regularly. It’s truly a unique community.

Ncheta Dasilva

The stats about £0.01 in every £1 of VC cash being invested in all women founded businesses is depressing, so it's refreshing to find a community actively taking steps to redress the imbalance. It was a no-brainer to join Hermesa's welcoming community, with the opportunity to participate in due diligence processes, screening processes, improving my knowledge and make strides in our shared vision.

Jami Jenkins

There are so many good reasons and responses to "why HERmesa"- the community of exceptional women, the humble, diligent, and supportive approach to all founders and deals - whether or not they all get funded - the reciprocation from female founders leaving space for HERmesa at the table while other VCs don't get access, the events and networking opportunities, the chance to contribute to something larger than oneself, the ability to put women founders front and center when they otherwise often get overlooked and underfunded, the low ticket size allowed in participating in deals, but most importantly - why not HERmesa? I can't think of one good reason NOT to be involved, invested, and interested.

Scott Mackin

HERmesa is able to attract high quality deal flow because of the network and reputation of Marla and the larger group. The DD-informed Info Memo they put out is very helpful to cut through the pertinent issues. The group is highly focused. Also, I recommend to new angel investors that HERmesa is a place to cut their teeth around nice people who are always there to help.

Eliska Mallickova

As soon as I heard about Hermesa and the mission that Marla was on, joining was a no-brainer for me. I was just in the process of moving into investing from operating and was craving for a women's network that was also supportive and inclusive. The members and angel investors at Hermesa come from the broadest range of backgrounds, which is very impactful for founders. I have been lucky to see this first hand across the many connections and Hermesa programs. The investors truly care about funding the best businesses and helping them scale while also improving the funding gap for women.

We are proud to support a growing portfolio of exceptional women-led start-ups

Our team

Marla Shapiro
Founder & CEO

20+ years professional experience, including Head of Commercial for 3 media/tech startups, sales, business development & financial services in the US, UK & Europe. 2023 UKBAA Diversity Champion

Wibke Stoffers

20+ years experience as a marketing leader in blue chip companies in consumer health and personal care in the UK/Europe

Emma Blackburn

20+ years experience leading finance teams at high growth tech businesses in the US & UK. Served as CFO at UK fund manager Ascension Ventures