Hunting venture capital firms with female VCs
Nota week goes by without news on the gap between fundingfemale foundersand and the 97% male venture capital industry.This comes at a time when investing with a gender lens is validated in manywealth creation strategies. Plus, investing in diverse startup teams is one of the emerging trendsventure capital frontier, in no smallpart because 41% of the startups pitching capital are women- or minority led today.
Here is our editor’s list venture capital firms with female VC decision makers. These are no in particular order—but should all be first on your list if you’re a female founder looking for the right female venture capital partner.
1.Built by Girls [BBG]: led by Susan Lyne. Early stage. Interested inmultiplatform media, services, and commerce.
2. Aligned Partners:co-founders,Susan Mason and Jodi Sherman Jahic. Early stage. Information technology, particularlymobile- and cloud-delivered software and services that are oriented toward the enterprise rather than the consumer.
3. Forerunner Ventures: founded byKirsten Greene. Early stage. Interested in funding innovative digital commerce start-ups.
4.Illuminate Ventures: founded byCindy Padnos. Early stage, or first VC partner in debt-funded start-ups. Interested in B2B/Enterprise cloud and mobile computing space, andparticularly focused on SaaS applications, solutions that leverage Big Data and/or mobility for improved business results and consumer technologies that are being applied to the enterprise.
5.Cowboy Ventures:founded by Aileen Lee. Seed stage. Technology. Interested in exceptional founders who are building products that “re-imagine” work and personal life in large and growing markets.
6.Aspect Ventures:co-founded by Jennifer Fonstad and Theresia Gouw. Mid-stage bridging funds. Interests are various.
7. Belle Capital: managed by Lauren Flanagan, Irene G. Hrusovky, and Barbara Boxer. Early stage. Funds digital/mobile/internet (IT), technology-enabled products and services, life sciences/medical/health IT (digital health), and CleanTech market sectors.
8. Golden Seeds: They have both angel and venture capital investing. Founder, Stephanie Newby. VC is managed by Jo Ann Corkran. Early stage. Concentrates on life sciences, technology, media, and consumer fields.
9. The Women’s Venture Capital Fund: co-founders, Edith Dorsen and Monica Dodi. Interested in west-coast-based digital media and sustainable products and services.
10. Monitor Ventures: partner, Fern Mandelbaum. Early stage. Interested incommercializing technology into world-class products and services.
11. Valor Ventures.Lisa Calhoun, General Partner at Valor Ventures, launched her micro fund in Atlanta this year to invest in the best SaaS and AI companies in the Southeast. “We believe the best way to predict the future is to be part of inventing it. Diverse perspectives are driving financial performance and derisking investment on the innovation frontier.” The venture firm has a pitch competition that draws top tech women and minority founders, Startup Runway. The program takes applicants in the Spring and Fall.
12. Forerunner Venturesin New York,led by Kirsten Greene and based in New York, focuses on making early investments in consumer product and retail technology companies, like Warby Parker, Birchbox, andDollar Shave Club.
13. Female Founders Fund, in New York,invests in women-only. Their strong positioning goes like this:
Women experience greater successes – and fewer failures – than their male counterparts. Yet traditional venture capital does not reflect this.Female Founders Fund was founded to change that.
Gotta love that. They invest in ecommerce, marketplaces and retail product and service.
14. Deborah Quazzo, Founding and Managing Partner atGSV Accelerationin Chicago, has over 45 investments in disruptive technology companies and counting. The ASU GSV Summit shecohosts, nowinits 8th year, brings together over3,500and has been called a “must attend conference for educational investors” by the New York Times.
15. True Wealth Ventures, led by general partners Kerry Rupp and Sara Brand. Sara, who first conceived the fund idea, says, “I think everyone should strive to figure out what their purpose is on the planet and how to create value with their experiences and skills. It’s a question I have been asking myself for a long time.True Wealth Venturesis a venture capital fund designed to invest in women-led companies that will design, develop, go to market and scale consumer health and sustainable products and technologies.” If you’re a women-led startup in Texas with an eco- or sustainable consumer product company, this venture firm wants to hear from you.
There are also a number of female venture capitalists that should make your short list at other firms.
While we could not characterize these firms as “led” by female VCs, they certainly have women venture capitalists in leading decision-making positions.
Women VCs at venture capital firms you can count on
16.Dayna Grayson, who leads the seed fund at NEA, one of the largest funds in the United States. She’s profiled here.
17. Chelsea Stoner, general partner at Battery Ventures
18. Dana Settle, founding partner, Graycroft.
Dana is a Founding Partner with Greycroft, and she heads the firm’s west coast office out of Los Angeles.
Prior to Greycroft, Dana spent several years as a venture capitalist and advisor to startup companies in the Bay Area, including six years at Mayfield, where she focused on early stage companies in the mobile communications and consumer Internet markets.
19. Patricia Nakache, general partner, Trinity Ventures
“My path to venture capital was serendipitous, so I advise young people to plan their careers but also be open to interesting but perhaps orthogonal opportunities when they present themselves. In 1999, I had recently left McKinsey & Company to join the dot-com revolution and was working as director of marketing at a startup. On the side, for fun, I was writing freelance for FORTUNE magazine about some of the innovative approaches to management being pioneered by exciting Silicon Valley tech companies. For my reporting, I spoke to many venture capitalists and hit it off with the Trinity team. They asked me to join them, and I was immediately enthralled by the caliber of entrepreneurs I had the good fortune to meet and their new business ideas. And here I am,15 years later, still loving every day,” she writes.
20. Maha Ibrahim, General Partner, Canaan Partners.
Maha has been involved in the venture capital and technology industries for over 15 years, developing a stellar reputation for supporting entrepreneurs through all phases of the start-up cycle. She also mentors women and girls in entrepreneurship.
With a focus on innovative cloud and digital media companies, Maha’s current boards include Kabam, an innovator in the gaming industry. Plus, she keeps current with couture as a board member for TheRealReal, the world’s largest luxury marketplace, and Cuyana, an e-commerce brand that creates luxury apparel and accessory collections with materials sourced from around the world.
21. Jenny Lee— we covered this top tech VC investor, famous for opening up China with a suitcase full of cash and writing her own deals, at length in an earlier article.
22. Mellie Price.Price is the Executive Director of Technology Innovation at the Dell Medical School as well as a founder and investor in Softmatch. She is also an eight-time entrepreneur anda founding mentor and Managing Director of Capital Factory as well as a General Partner to its investment fund. Price was the Founder & CEO of Austin’s own Front Gate Solutions and Front Gate Tickets.
Women VCs have strong onramps
As you get ready to do your roadshow, also take a look atSpringboard Enterprises(president and co-founder, Amy Millman). Springboard educates, connects, and supports women who leadhigh-growth technology companies and who are preparing to ask for VC funding.
Do your Women VC research
Women VCs are starting new firms, and new funds, regularly. This infographic based on Crunchbase data is one of our favorite–but keep looking. Chances are, the women venture capitalist you are looking for is out there–and worth the search.
Which VC firm is most successful? ›
The largest venture capital firm in the U.S. is Intel Capital, with a revenue of $30 billion and an investment-to-exit ratio of 28.5%. As of 2022, the U.S. venture capital industry industry has a market size of $63 billion.How much of the VC money goes to female founders? ›
for every £1 of venture capital (VC) investment in the UK, all-female founder teams get less than 1p, all-male founder teams get 89p, and mixed-gender teams 10p.What is EVCA? ›
Association. EVCA is the primary community for the emerging (pre-partner & junior partner) venture capital investor.What are the Tier 1 VCs? ›
— Tier 1: Normally the top 15-20 venture firms — those who consistently raise large funds of $300-500M+ and have backed multiple, well-recognized startups and “unicorns” in the past.What is the difference between PE and VC? ›
Private equity is capital invested in a company or other entity that is not publicly listed or traded. Venture capital is funding given to startups or other young businesses that show potential for long-term growth.Are female led businesses more successful? ›
New research shows companies with female leaders outperform those dominated by men. A new report released by the House of Commons has revealed that companies with a higher percentage of female leaders, outperform those dominated by men.Is VC male dominated? ›
In the US, only 13% of decision makers at venture capital firms greater than $25 million are women.How venture capital firms can reduce the gender gap in investing? ›
“Looking ahead, to continue to maintain momentum in improving gender diversity, PE/VC firms need to work to increase the number of women they are retaining and hiring into mid-to-senior level roles, encourage cultural acceptance of flexible work hours and hybrid working models across male and female employees.Who is the biggest VC in the world? ›
|1.||Tiger Global Management||New York City, NY|
|2.||New Enterprise Associates||Chevy Chase, MD|
|3.||Sequoia Capital||Menlo Park, CA|
Pre-MBA: You can get a job at a VC firm without an MBA, straight after university or after gaining some work experience in investment banking, management consulting, business development, sales or product management at a startup for a few years. Post-MBA: You can start working at a VC firm after getting an MBA degree.
How do you break into venture capital? ›
- Get clear on the type of investing you want to do.
- Understand the mind of a venture capitalist.
- Apply the BASE Framework.
- Spend 85% of your time talking to founders.
- Hone the skills needed to be a successful VC investor.
- Be an asset by providing value to VCs you want to work with.
The Enhanced Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment (EVCA) is a participatory process developed for communities to become more resilient through the assessment and analysis of the risks they face and the identification of actions to reduce these risks.How much do you make in venture capital? ›
|Role||Compensation Excluding Carry||Share In Carry|
|Associate||$70,000 - $350,000||Unlikely|
|Senior Associate||$150,000 - $480,000||Small|
|Principal or Vice President (VP)||$140,000 - $340,000||Increasing|
|Junior Partner / Partner||$400,000 - $600,000||Large|
However, high net worth individuals who are accredited investors — meaning your net worth alone or with a spouse surpasses $1 million, or your earned income exceeds $200,000 for the past two years ($300,000 with a spouse) — can also participate in venture capital funds and direct investments.What's the biggest hedge fund? ›
But if you're aiming to break into investment banking, private equity, venture capital, or sales & trading, the CFA is marginally helpful at best. It won't hurt you, but there are better ways to spend your time.Why do people want to go into VC? ›
Venture capital investments in early stages offer opportunities for high returns. Naturally, the chance for a very high return is an important reason to invest in startups. Investment opportunities that entail high risks also can provide a higher return on investments.How much equity do VC firms take? ›
What Percentage of a Company Do Venture Capitalists Take? Depending on the stage of the company, its prospects, how much is being invested, and the relationship between the investors and the founders, VCs will typically take between 25 and 50% of a new company's ownership.Who is the biggest VC in the world? ›
|1.||Tiger Global Management||New York City, NY|
|2.||New Enterprise Associates||Chevy Chase, MD|
|3.||Sequoia Capital||Menlo Park, CA|
Sequoia has a reputation for being the best at spotting unicorns. When looking solely at the number of billion-dollar startups in its portfolio, that's true. But the firm has also invested in 307 early-stage companies since 2000, which results in a 5.5% unicorn-spotting rate.
Is Lightspeed Tier 1 VC? ›
“Most founders raising growth capital know Lightspeed,” claims Murphy. (The VC has deployed $500m into European startups to date, and all investments come out of the US funds.) “We've been one of the few US Tier 1 growth funds active here.”
Formerly known as Accel Partners, the Palo Alto-based company is a top-tier VC firm investing in consumer and enterprise solutions for segments like SaaS, fintech, hardware, media, and IT services. Accel's largest presence is in the Bay Area with sizable teams in London and Bangalore.