Top 50 Women-Led Startups to Watch Out for

Top 50 Women-Led Startups to Watch Out for in 2024

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Top 50 women-led companies

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In the ever-evolving landscape of entrepreneurship, women are breaking barriers, shattering glass ceilings, and leaving an indelible mark on the startup ecosystem. From tech innovations to sustainable solutions, women-led startups are not only making waves but also transforming industries. In this blog post, we celebrate the trailblazing women who have not only dared to dream but have also turned those dreams into thriving businesses. Join us as we explore some of the best women-led startups that are leaving an indelible mark on the world.

Percentage of Women-Led Startups:

The percentage of women-led startups has been growing steadily, although women remain underrepresented in the startup ecosystem. According to various reports, the global average of women-founded startups ranges from 10% to 20%. However, it’s important to note that these figures can vary by region and industry.

Efforts to increase gender diversity in entrepreneurship are underway, with organizations and initiatives advocating for more opportunities for tech women founders.

Why Women-Owned Startups Are a Better Bet:

1. Diverse Perspectives:

Women bring diverse perspectives and experiences to the table, fostering innovation and creativity within startups. This diversity can lead to more comprehensive problem-solving and a broader range of ideas.

2. Resilience and Tenacity:

Women entrepreneurs often exhibit high levels of resilience and tenacity. Overcoming societal and systemic challenges, they demonstrate a strong commitment to their goals, making them well-equipped to navigate the unpredictable journey of startup life.

3. Understanding of Market Gaps:

Women founders are often attuned to market gaps and needs that might be overlooked. This intuitive understanding of consumer demands can give women-led startups a strategic advantage in identifying and addressing untapped opportunities.

4. Better Team Dynamics:

Diversity, including gender diversity, in leadership positions contributes to better team dynamics. Studies suggest that diverse teams lead to increased productivity, creativity, and employee satisfaction, positively impacting the overall success of a startup.

5. Proven Financial Performance:

Research has indicated that women-led companies can deliver strong financial performance. Companies with diverse leadership teams, including women, have shown a correlation with better financial returns and profitability.

6. Enhanced Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR):

Women entrepreneurs often prioritize CSR initiatives, contributing to positive social impact. This commitment to social responsibility can enhance a company’s reputation and attract socially conscious consumers.

Challenges and Successes of Women-Led Startups:

Challenges:

1. Access to Funding:

Women entrepreneurs face challenges in accessing funding. Studies have shown that women-led startups receive a disproportionately small share of venture capital funding compared to their male counterparts.

2. Gender Bias and Stereotypes:

Persistent gender biases and stereotypes can affect how women founders are perceived, impacting their ability to gain credibility and support in the business world.

3. Work-Life Balance:

Balancing entrepreneurial pursuits with family and personal responsibilities is a common challenge for women entrepreneurs. The expectations placed on women regarding work-life balance can be particularly demanding.

4. Limited Networking Opportunities:

Women may encounter limited networking opportunities, as traditional business networks have historically been male-dominated. Access to influential networks is crucial for gaining mentorship and business connections.

Successes:

1. Adaptability and Innovation:

Women-led startups often showcase adaptability and innovation, finding creative solutions to problems. This ability to navigate challenges and pivot when necessary contributes to long-term success.

2. Community Building:

Many women entrepreneurs excel at building supportive communities around their startups. This community-driven approach fosters customer loyalty and strengthens the brand.

3. Mentorship and Collaboration:

Success stories of women-led startups often highlight the importance of mentorship and collaboration. Establishing mentor-mentee relationships and forming strategic partnerships can significantly contribute to a startup’s success.

4. Impact-Driven Ventures:

Women-led startups often focus on creating businesses that have a positive impact on society. This mission-driven approach resonates with consumers who prioritize socially responsible and sustainable products and services.

Top 50 women-led companies

Best Women-led Startups in 2024

1. Highlight

CEO & Co-founder: Dana Kim
Headquarters: New York, USA

Highlight stands out as a top female-founded startup dedicated to innovation and market research. Led by CEO and Co-founder Dana Kim, the company specializes in product testing and research activities. Highlight revolutionizes traditional methods by employing an in-home product testing platform, allowing developers to efficiently gather valuable insights from targeted demographics. Embracing a culture of remote work, Highlight enhances the success of physical products in the market.

2. Juniver

Founder & CEO: Emilie Faure
Headquarters: New York, USA

Founded by Emilie Faure, Juniver is a prominent women-led startup in women’s healthcare. Focused on addressing eating disorders through a science-based program, Juniver offers a digital health app. Emilie Faure’s personal struggle with eating disorders inspired the creation of a comprehensive solution that includes personalized tools, on-demand support during compulsive moments, and structured community groups. The platform strives to improve the lives of millions seeking recovery.

3. Titaniam

CEO: Arti Raman
Headquarters: San Jose, California

Established in 2019, Titaniam, led by CEO Arti Raman, is a cybersecurity and data protection company. As a standout female-founded startup in cybersecurity, Titaniam excels in high-performance encryption-in-use. The platform ensures data security even in the event of a breach, offering auditable evidence of retained encryption. Addressing challenges like ransomware, extortion, insider threats, and data privacy, Titaniam provides a robust solution for enterprises to safeguard valuable data.

4. Venti Technologies

Co-founders: Dr. Heidi Wyle & Dr. Daniela Rus
Headquarters: Weston, Massachusetts, USA

Venti Technologies, founded by Dr. Heidi Wyle and Dr. Daniela Rus in 2018, is a women-led startup focused on enhancing logistics in autonomous mobility. Operating in the US and Asia, Venti Technologies utilizes technology to create future transportation solutions. With strong roots in MIT, the co-founders aim to leverage the power of technology to reshape the mobility landscape.

5. Spekit

Co-founder & CEO: Melanie Fellay
Co-founder: Zari Zahra
Headquarters: Denver, Colorado, USA

Spekit, a Colorado-based startup co-founded by Melanie Fellay and Zari Zahra, specializes in digital adoption and enablement. The platform serves to enhance team productivity and tool adoption by providing training, resources, and guidance within the workflow context. With a focus on futuristic solutions for evolving work cultures, Spekit is at the forefront of addressing the training needs of employees.

6. Finuprise

Founder: Gaia Balossi
Co-founder: Chiara Liqui Lung
Headquarters: Copenhagen, Denmark

Finuprise, headquartered in Denmark, is a leading women-led startup in financial services and investment. Founded by Gaia Balossi and co-founded by Chiara Liqui Lung, Finuprise aims to empower investors with impactful products. Balossi focuses on product and fundraising, while Liqui Lung, a serial entrepreneur, drives growth. Finuprise encourages investors to make a positive impact on the future with their investments.

7. Vaayu

Co-founder & CEO: Namrata Sandhu
Headquarters: Berlin, Germany

Established in 2020 by Namrata Sandhu and Luch Schmid, Vaayu is a Berlin-based startup that uses technology to reduce carbon emissions in retail and combat climate change. Recognized for its impact, Vaayu has received prestigious awards, including TIME’s 2022 Best Inventions and Fast Company’s 2022 Next Big Things in Tech Awards. Vaayu’s automated carbon software allows retailers to measure, monitor, and reduce their carbon footprint in real-time.

8. Verge Genomics

Co-founder & CEO: Alice Zhang
Headquarters: San Francisco, USA

Verge Genomics, a San Francisco-based biotechnology research startup, is a key player in women-led startups in biotechnology. Led by CEO Alice Zhang, Verge Genomics utilizes artificial intelligence for drug discovery, focusing on diseases like ALS, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. Zhang’s contributions have earned her recognition, including Fortune’s 40 Under 40 and MIT Technology Review’s Innovator Under 35.

9. Bloomer Tech

Founder & CEO: Alicia Chong Rodriguez
Co-founders: Aceil Halaby & Monica Abarca
Headquarters: Cambridge, UK

Bloomer Tech, a female-founded startup based in Cambridge, UK, is dedicated to tracking elements related to cardiovascular disease. CEO Alicia Chong Rodriguez, along with co-founders Aceil Halaby and Monica Abarca, integrates biometric sensors into everyday clothing. These sensors collect vital health data, offering real-time insights for personalized healthcare. Bloomer Tech’s innovative technology aims to contribute to global cardiovascular health solutions.

10. Planet FWD

CEO: Julia Collins
Headquarters: San Francisco, USA

Julia Collins leads Planet FWD, a carbon management platform headquartered in San Francisco, USA. Specializing in carbon assessment and neutrality, the company focuses on controlling carbon emissions from consumer products. Julia Collins oversees operations, contributing to the platform’s expertise in carbon management, sustainability, and environmental impact reduction.

11. The Plastics Circle

Sydney, Australia | Website

The Plastics Circle, a Sydney-based startup founded in 2018 by Gillian Hyde, Trish Hyde, Murray Hyde, and Ben Reay, is a revolutionary force in the realm of sustainable technology. Recognizing the dual nature of plastic – an environmental threat and a versatile material – the founders created two Software as a Service (SaaS) products, PUMP and PlastX. These innovative tools aim to transform plastic waste into a vital component of a circular, closed-loop economy. By diverting plastic from landfills, The Plastics Circle is at the forefront of combating environmental challenges. Dive deeper into the founders’ insights in our exclusive interview with Trish Hyde and Gillian Hyde.

12. Mented Cosmetics

New York, USA | Website

Founded in 2016 by Harvard friends KJ Miller and Amanda Johnson, Mented Cosmetics addresses a common struggle faced by women of color – finding the perfect nude lipstick. This luxury beauty brand has disrupted the industry, offering a diverse range of nude lip shades that cater to women of all colors. With a pre-seed funding of $3 million in 2018, Mented Cosmetics, headquartered in New York, has not only met a specific market demand but has also become a beacon of inclusivity and empowerment.

13. Mrs. Wordsmith

London, The United Kingdom | Website

Sofia Fenichell’s brainchild, Mrs. Wordsmith, emerged in 2015/2016 in London, UK, with a mission to be the “world’s silliest learning company.” Using creative storylines illustrated by the artists behind Madagascar, Mrs. Wordsmith sparks children’s imagination while teaching vocabulary. This innovative approach transforms education into an enjoyable endeavor, creating a unique niche for the startup.

14. Solv

San Francisco, USA | Website

Heather Mirjahangir Fernandez founded Solv in 2016 to revolutionize the healthcare system in the US. The San Francisco-based startup offers an app allowing users to book same-day doctor’s appointments, significantly reducing waiting times and increasing patient satisfaction. Solv’s approach not only improves the patient experience but also boosts its partner providers’ patient volume.

15. Save Your Wardrobe

London, The United Kingdom | Website

Save Your Wardrobe, launched in 2017 in London by founder and CEO Hasna Kourda, addresses the environmental impact of fast fashion. The app, utilizing AI, helps users categorize their existing wardrobe and create new outfit combinations without buying new clothes. Additionally, the platform facilitates clothing donations and promotes upcycled fashion, offering a sustainable solution to the fashion industry’s waste problem.

16. Verge Genomics

San Francisco, USA | Website

Founded by Alice Zhang in 2015, Verge Genomics is disrupting the healthcare industry. This San Francisco-based startup uses Artificial Intelligence to discover new drugs for brain diseases like Alzheimer’s, ALS, and Parkinson’s. With a successful Series A funding round raising $32 million in 2015, Verge Genomics showcases the potential of AI in advancing medical research.

17. Maven Clinic

New York, USA | Website

Changing the landscape of women’s healthcare, Maven Clinic, founded in 2014 by Katherine Ryder, connects working women with doctors through its virtual platform. This revolutionary approach not only provides users with regular virtual medical care but also offers proactive interventions, potentially saving costs in the long run. Maven Clinic is headquartered in New York and embodies the future of accessible and personalized healthcare for women.

18. Modern Fertility

San Francisco, USA | Website

Carly Leahy and Afton Vechery co-founded Modern Fertility in 2017 with the goal of redefining fertility care. The San Francisco-based startup offers affordable hormone tests that women can take at home, empowering them with early and informed reproductive decisions. By making fertility information accessible, Modern Fertility transforms the sector from reactive to proactive.

19. Snorkel AI

Palo Alto, USA | Website

Established in 2019 in Palo Alto, Snorkel AI, founded by Paroma Varma, Alexander Ratner, Braden Hancock, Chris Re, and Henry Ehrenberg, provides a platform that accelerates AI application development. Recognizing the bottleneck of labeled data, the startup efficiently improves the efficiency of AI development, securing $135.3 million in total funding through its Series C round.

20. WerkLabs

Chicago, USA | Website

Founded in 2016 by Anna Auerbach and Annie Dean, WerkLabs is reshaping how large companies approach flexibility in the workplace. Operating as a people-centered platform, WerkLabs uses predictive analytics solutions to help companies build flexible cultures through data. By offering valuable insights, WerkLabs supports employers in making informed decisions and optimizing efficiency.

21. Coworker

San Francisco, USA | Website

Addressing the challenges faced by freelancers in finding suitable coworking spaces, Coworker, launched in 2015 by Leanne Beesley, operates as the “Airbnb for coworking spaces.” The platform allows freelancers to book spaces and leave reviews, providing a comprehensive solution for those working remotely. Based in San Francisco, Coworker has simplified the coworking experience globally.

22. Agrowave

Gurgaon, India | Website

Anu Meena founded Agrowave in 2017 to address the challenges faced by farmers in selling their produce. Serving as a Farm2Business mobility supply chain, Agrowave connects farmers with markets through mobile pickup stations, reducing the need for farmers to travel in search of buyers. The platform optimizes the supply chain, benefiting both farmers and markets.

23. Rockets of Awesome

New York, USA | Website

Inspired by the frustration of shopping for kids’ clothes, Rachel Blumenthal founded Rockets of Awesome in 2016. The subscription-based service sends curated boxes with 12 pieces of clothing each season, based on kids’ preferences from previous purchases. The model allows parents to pay only for what they want to keep, simplifying and enhancing the shopping experience for both parents and kids.

24. Guild Education

Denver, USA | Website

Founded in 2015 by Brittany Stich, Chris Romer, and Rachel Carlson, Guild Education aims to bridge the education gap for working adults without college degrees. The Denver-based startup partners with public and low-cost educational institutions to create tailored tuition plans for employees, resulting in a positive return on investment for employers and higher retention rates for workers.

25. Future Family

San Francisco, USA | Website

Claire Tomkins and Eve Blossom co-founded Future Family in 2016 to provide affordable fertility treatments. The subscription-based fertility company offers low-cost IVF and egg freezing monthly plans, empowering women and couples with stress-free fertility options. Headquartered in San Francisco, Future Family has raised approximately $123.2 million in total funding.

26. Athena Club

New York, USA | Website

Founded in 2017 by Allie Griswold, Maria Markina, and Charles Desmarais, Athena Club disrupts the menstruation industry by offering a subscription-based service for affordable tampons. Expanding beyond menstrual products, Athena Club provides a range of feminine care items, giving women the convenience of ordering essential products tailored to their needs.

27. Artemis

Budapest, Hungary | Website

Artemis, a smart bodysuit developed by Alpha Femtech in Budapest, Hungary, offers a promising solution to reduce menstrual pain using micro-vibrations and heat. Founded in 2020 by Dora Pelczer and Anna Zsofia Kormos, Artemis stands at the intersection of technology and women’s health, bringing innovation to menstrual care.

28. Daily Harvest

New York, USA | Website

Rachel Drori founded Daily Harvest in 2014, introducing a subscription-based meal service focused on delivering organic produce-based meals. With a commitment to healthy and environmentally sound food systems, Daily Harvest has become a pioneer in providing convenient, nutritious options to consumers.

29. Alfred

New York, USA | Website

Marcela Sapone and Jessica Beck launched Hello Alfred in 2014 to offer busy individuals the luxury of a need-based butler for managing home-related tasks. The platform connects users with Alfreds, who visit and complete chores or shopping as scheduled. Expanding into 40 cities in two countries, Hello Alfred has transformed the concept of home management.

30. Firmsy

New Plymouth, New Zealand | Website

Claudia King founded Firmsy in 2016 in New Plymouth, New Zealand, disrupting the legal industry with an artificial intelligence-driven lawyer bot. Firmsy streamlines legal processes, saving time for lawyers and providing clients with better access to legal services. As a pioneering AI solution in the legal domain, Firmsy showcases the potential for technology to enhance traditional industries.

31. Caretaker

New York, USA | Website

Founded in 2017 by Susannah Vila, Elias Wehbe, and Roger Graham, Caretaker is a marketplace leveraging blockchain technology to help people sublet their places without incurring fees for breaking leases. The platform facilitates the transition of leases to new tenants, providing landlords with screened and verified information. Caretaker aims to simplify the subletting process while enhancing transparency in the rental market.

32. Abartys Health

Guaynabo, Puerto Rico | Website

Founded in 2016 by Dolmarie Mendez and Lauren Cascio, Abartys Health envisions changing the healthcare market through automation. The Puerto Rico-based startup offers a platform serving as a centralized data hub between doctors, physicians, and insurance providers. This innovative approach makes medical records portable and identification universal, fostering a more efficient and transparent healthcare industry.

33. Digitail

Austin, USA | Website

Digitail, founded in 2018 by Ruxandra Pui and Sebastian Gabor, provides customer relationship management (CRM) software for veterinary clinics. The Austin-based startup’s platform automates administrative processes and tracks patient information, enhancing the efficiency of veterinary practices. Digitail exemplifies the intersection of technology and pet care, contributing to the advancement of veterinary services.

34. Winnie

San Francisco, USA | Website

Founded in 2016 by working moms Sara Mauskopf and Anne Halsall, Winnie addresses the challenge of finding suitable schools for children. Operating in multiple cities around the US, Winnie connects parents with daycares and preschools, streamlining the process of discovering and managing childcare options. With approximately $15.5 million in total funding, Winnie has become a valuable resource for parents seeking quality childcare solutions.

35. EmptyTrips

Sandown, South Africa | Website

Benji Coetzee founded EmptyTrips in 2016 in South Africa to tackle the issue of empty trucks and railways wasting resources. The platform connects transporters with companies looking to transport their products, optimizing logistics and reducing waste. EmptyTrips serves as a solution to improve the efficiency of transportation, benefiting both transporters and companies seeking to move goods.

36. Klasha

Lagos, Nigeria | Website

Founded in 2018 by Jessica Anuna, Klasha is a fashion e-commerce store based in Lagos, Nigeria. With a vision to connect young millennial consumers in emerging markets to the global e-commerce economy, Klasha offers trendy clothes at affordable prices, shipping within 1-5 days. Providing both B2C and B2B solutions, Klasha caters to the evolving fashion needs of consumers in Africa.

37. 1928 Diagnostics

Gothenburg, Sweden | Website

Selected by the World Economic Forum as one of the world’s 61 most promising Technology Pioneers, 1928 Diagnostics, based in Gothenburg, Sweden, seeks to bridge the gap between DNA technology and infection control. Founded in 2014 by doctors Kristina Lagerstedt and Susanne Staaf, the startup provides a platform for doctors to choose personalized antibiotic treatments through DNA analytics. This approach aims to prevent antibiotic resistance, showcasing the potential for technology to revolutionize healthcare.

38. Karma

Stockholm, Sweden | Website

Founded by Elsa Bernadotte in 2015, Karma is a Swedish startup addressing food waste from grocery shops and restaurants. The platform allows merchants to sell unsold food at discounted prices, and consumers can purchase these products directly through the app. Karma’s innovative approach contributes to reducing food waste and promoting sustainability in the food industry.

39. Rebellyous Foods

Seattle, USA | Website

Formerly named Seattle Food Tech, Rebellyous Foods, founded by Christie Lagally, focuses on creating plant-based substitutes for chicken. Launched in 2018 after participating in the YCombinator seed accelerator, Rebellyous Foods received $1 million in seed funding to manufacture plant-based chicken nuggets, patties, and tenders. The startup aims to provide affordable plant-based alternatives, contributing to a sustainable and eco-friendly food industry.

40. Hey! Vina

San Francisco, USA | Website

Founded in 2015 by Jen Aprahamian and Olivia June, Hey! Vina offers a unique platform for women seeking new friendships. Similar to Tinder, the app uses an algorithm considering mutual friends, interests, location, and Buzzfeed quiz answers to match users for potential friendships. Operating in San Francisco, Hey! Vina promotes connections and friendships among women, emphasizing the importance of social networks.

41. PolicyPal

Singapore, Singapore | Website

Using AI technology, Policypal, founded by Val Jihsuan Yap in 2016, provides a customizable insurance experience through a mobile app. The Singapore-based startup empowers customers to tailor their insurance coverage on their phones, showcasing the potential for technology to enhance the insurance industry. Policypal’s innovative approach aligns with the growing trend of digital transformation in the financial sector.

42. Homage

Singapore, Singapore | Website

Founded by Gillian Tee in 2016, Homage is a Singapore-based startup connecting local caregivers with seniors through an online platform. The platform offers flexibility for care visits, allowing patients to customize their care based on individual needs. Homage not only facilitates care but also keeps families updated, demonstrating how technology can improve and personalize healthcare services.

43. WIZ AI

Singapore, Singapore

Launched in 2019 by Jennifer Zhang, WIZ AI focuses on providing humanized, automated talkbots for customer service. The Singapore-based startup utilizes AI to develop talkbots capable of understanding various accents and multiple languages, aiming to reduce wait times and enhance customer satisfaction. WIZ AI exemplifies the application of AI in improving customer interactions across diverse linguistic contexts.

44. Traceless Materials

Hamburg, Germany

Founded by Johanna Baare and Anne Lamp in 2020, Traceless Materials, based in Hamburg, Germany, introduces innovative alternatives to plastics. The startup produces bio-based materials, including film, coating, and plas(ic), made from non-toxic sources that are biodegradable. Priced competitively, Traceless Materials’ solutions aim to replace traditional plastics and contribute to sustainable practices in various industries.

45. Sidebrief – Eunice Olopade

Eunice Olopade, a Tax expert and consultant at The World Bank, established Sidebrief Africa in 2021. Sidebrief serves as a comprehensive solution for business registration, banking, and regulatory compliance. This Techstars-backed startup secured $120,000 in funding.

46.  Okra – Fara Ashiru

Software engineer Fara Ashiru founded Okra in 2020, leveraging her experience as an Engineering Consultant at Canva. Okra functions as the operating system for financial service platforms, catering to companies of all sizes. In 2021, the startup announced a seed raise of $3.5 million, accumulating a total capital raise of $4.5 million.

47.  Healthtracka – Ifeoluwa Dare-Johnson

In 2021, marketing executive Ifeoluwa Dare-Johnson established Healthtracka, a health-tech startup transforming lab testing with at-home sample collection and digital results in 1-3 days. With a background as a Part-time Lecturer on Consumer Insights at the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Dare-Johnson led Healthtracka to raise $1.5 million in July 2022. Subsequently, the startup joined the Google Black Founders Fund, securing an additional $100,000 and reaching a total capital raise of $1.6 million.

48. Shuttlers – Damilola Olokesusi

Founded in 2015 by Damilola Olokesusi, Shuttlers operates as a scheduled ride-sharing platform, facilitating individual and corporate rides on multiple bus routes through an app. After bootstrapping, the startup raised a $1.6 million seed round in 2021, followed by another $4 million 18 months later, totaling funds raised at $5.6 million.

49. Edukoya – Honey Ogundeyi

Edukoya, an ed-tech startup founded in 2021 by Honey Ogundeyi, secured the largest pre-seed raise by an Edtech startup in Nigeria, raising $3.5 million in December 2021. Ogundeyi, with previous experiences at Kuda and as the Country Director at the UK-Nigeria Tech Hub, spearheaded Edukoya’s success.

50. Bitmama – Ruth Iselema

Established in 2016 by Ruth Iselema, Bitmama is a crypto-fiat exchange enabling traders to buy and sell digital assets. Recognized as one of the top 20 individuals shaping Africa’s blockchain space, Iselema has led Bitmama to raise $2 million in funding.

51. Herconomy – Ife Durosimi-Etti

Ife Durosimi-Etti founded Herconomy in 2018, a female-focused fintech startup empowering women with access to financial services. Starting as a community, Herconomy evolved into a paid community of 1,500 members, raising $600,000 from the community and an additional $150,000 from the Google Black Founders Fund in 2023, reaching a total fund raised of $750,000.

52. Bankly – Tomilola Adejana

Bankly, founded by Tomilola Adejana, offers cash digitization services through online/offline channels. After a pre-seed round of $100,000 from Greenhouse Capital in 2018, the startup raised a seed of $2 million in 2021. In August 2023, Bankly launched its micro-finance bank and introduced new product features, totaling funds raised at $2.1 million.

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