This post explores venture capital firms dedicated to providing funding for female entrepreneurs. In 2018, venture capital firms invested a whopping $207 billion in startups-the largest amount since 2000. Sadly, of this amount, a paltry 2.2% was funding for female founders.
From a performance perspective, this just doesn’t make sense. According to research conducted by MassChallenge and the Boston Consulting Group, female-led startups consistently outperform male-only startups. The results of the study showed that among 350 startups reviewed, those with women on the board consistently produced a return on investment that was more than twice what the men-only startups produced.
Nevertheless, male founders have historically found it much easier to secure funding than their female counterparts. But clearly, success in the startup world is not limited to men. Are you a female founder thinking of launching a startup but are worried investors will unfairly give you a hard time just because you are a woman? Here are some of the top venture capital firms that prioritize providing funding for female entrepreneurs.
- Halogen Ventures: Based in Los Angeles, Halogen Ventures invests in female-founded consumer tech at the seed and Series A stage. Owner Jesse Draper gained experience dealing with early stage and later stage technologies after hosting the ‘The Valley Girl Show,’ which was actually about technology.
- Urban Innovation Fund: Managed by Clara Brenner, The Urban Innovation Fund focuses on entrepreneurs who want to literally shape cities and solve urban challenges. They specialize in startups involving transportation, energy, resources and sustainability, housing, education and workforce, health and public safety, business and financial services, government and civic tech, arts and recreation, and food systems.
- Glasswing Ventures: Focusing on companies using AI for enterprise platforms and cybersecurity markets, Glasswing Ventures provides funding during the pre-seed and seed stages of a startup. Founder and Managing Partner Rudina Seseri built up a credible reputation dealing with technology investments and acquisitions in her 16 years of investing and transacting in this business.
- Fika Ventures: Specializing in businesses involving enterprise/B2B/Saas, financial tech, marketplaces, and health IT, Fika Ventures was founded by general partners Eva Ho and TX Zhuo. With Fika, a Swedish word, literally meaning to sit down for coffee with someone, this company likes to hone companies that value people skills. They also often invite previous startups they have supported to invest in new startups.
- SoGal Ventures: SoGal Ventures invests in consumer tech, enterprise software, and health tech startups looking for funding in the pre-seed to Series A stages. With bases in New York, Singapore and China, founding partner Elizabeth Galbut and Pocket Sun rely on networking to fund their investments.
- 112Capital: Founder and Managing Partner Shelley Zhuang says 112Capital likes to focus on “deep-tech” companies, those that like to make strides in AI, AR, robotics, space, and data-driven health technologies. Founders must have a solid grasp of market size and explain what makes their product/service unique.
- 500 Startups: What makes 500 Startups different from venture capital investors previously mentioned? Venture partner Tanya Soman says 500 Startups is particularly interested in retail, beauty, and fashion innovation solutions. In addition to providing funding for female entrepreneurs, 500 Startups also invests in startups founded by LGBTQ+ and other diverse founders.
- Aspect Ventures: Other investors focus on startups in their earlier stages, but Aspect Ventures serves those seeking funding between the seed and late stages. Led by Jennifer Fonstad and Theresia Gouw, this firm emphasizes providing funds for female entrepreneurs with startups involved in security, digital health, financial, AI, autonomous vehicle mobile technology, Saas, and healthcare technology.
- Built By Girls Ventures: As opposed to deep or hard tech, BBG Ventures likes to support startups with ideas on how technology can make women’s lives “simpler, better, more delightful.” This investor is run by President and Founding Partner Susan Lyne and partner Nisha Dua.
- Boulder Food Group: Another investor that doesn’t cater exclusively to women (although it counts them as majority of their partnerships), the Boulder Food Group led by Founder and Managing Partner Tom Spier and Managing Partner Dayton Miller likes to prioritize companies that focus on food. They are currently involved in the large and growing food categories business.
These are by no means the only venture capital firms that provide funds for female entrepreneurs. Thankfully, there is a growing movement among investors to recognize and support female-led startups. As more investors recognize the intrinsic value of offering funds for female entrepreneurs, in the coming years, we hope and expect to see women capturing a significantly larger portion of venture capital funding. Have a question about funding? Contact me today and let’s talk!
This post was written by Ron Flavin (Growth and Funding Strategist, Angel Investor, Author and Speaker at Ron Flavin, Inc., and Co-Director of the San Francisco Founder Institute) and originally published on his blog.
Ron Flavin is a growth and funding strategist who helps entrepreneurs and organizations to develop innovative growth strategies, identify new revenue sources or secure the funds they need to grow and prosper. Using his own unique methodology, he work with his clients to develop a step-by-step growth and funding action plan that builds a bridge between vision and financial goals. Using this model, he has obtained more than $200 million in funding for his clients, and been part of decision-making teams that have allocated more than $1 billion in funding. As a result, Ron knows first-hand what those who hold the purse strings look for when determining which proposals get funded and which ones get tossed aside.