Invest in Women NOW
The Time is Now for the EU to Equal the Stakes for European Women in VC
A comprehensive report developed by General Partners of Venture Capital Funds on the state of Venture Capital funding with a set of initiatives to ensure equal access to capital for European female-led Venture Capital funds.
We are excited about the present and future of women in Venture Capital and company building
We are ready. The data speaks for us, and we are generating extraordinary value, fostering responsible investment and Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG), meeting UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and changing the traditional world of VC one deal at a time. But we can go faster, and we can have a more significant impact if only YOU, the reader of these lines, support us in our mission.
Our demands are not thinking about what we need today. Our asks are shaping the future we will all enjoy. If these demands are met, what would the present and future look like? Read below and enjoy.
We are closer than you think!
Share the report ↓
A few reasons to join our movement
The percentage of European VCs with a gender-mixed General Partnership team from 2016 to 2020.
Only 1.7% of all capital went to female founders in Europe from 2016 to 2020.
The total estimated assets under management by women-led VC Firms. Compare that with €51B from the entire European VC Firms from 2016 to 2020.
Average estimated fund size raised by women-led funds in Europe vs. €70M average fund size raised by the European VCs in general.
Unfortunately, we do not have accurate data about women-led VCs and Growth Funds in Europe, because no one measures it officially - that’s the why behind our first ask!
We define a female led/female co-led VC as one where women hold at least 30% of the General Partners.
The State Of VC & Funding Activity For Women-Led Companies In Europe
The European Investment Fund deployed a record amount of €12.9B in commitments to the market in 2020
However, only a single-digit % goes to female-led VCs and Growth Funds (although we are missing the exact number of the stakes females get). Investing in female-led VCs is not a priority now. Hopefully, that will change now.
The European Venture Capital market lacks women at senior partner positions in funds
Data suggests the avg % of female-led funds doesn’t exceed a single-digit. There’s a lack of diverse investment strategies at the Limited Partners level, and over 90% of Limited Partners rarely asking about a fund's diversity strategy while investing.
Thank you, DealRoom, for supporting us with the data! We hope to see more data on women moving forward!
Let's challenge this reality together
The solution is as simple as widening the top of the funnel
Can we pressure the industry so that at least 30% of the available capital goes to women-led funds in the next four years?
Sporadic initiatives and programs have concluded in negative growth*
Despite some initiatives in place, and although 2020 was an exceptional year for VC, women founders received even less capital than the previous years. $14.9B was raised in Q1 2021, almost one year’s worth of historical activity and nearly matching the $16.8B total in 2020.
More diversity at the investor level leads to more diversity at the portfolio level.
If we support women as the source of capital we will see diverse results at a portfolio level. For that, we need coordinated initiatives. We can change the equation together.
Awareness is key to changing the dynamics, the industry & the world
Now that we're becoming more aware let's work together from the level of Limited Partners right through female-led VCs to female funded businesses to make the change happen.
Who is behind this movement?
Well, you are already a part of it! Furthermore behind it is an exciting collective effort by 25 female General Partners from different countries, with Total Assets Under Management of approximately €2.9B and a total capitalization of portfolios of over €15B.
This group of women represents funds with 250 team members, where 45% are female, but only 8% of females hold real firepower in the funds. Less than 10% of European Limited Partners ask General Partners about ESG and diversity elements in their funds operation, decision-making and investment strategy.
What is our final goal?
Funding females equal access to finance is innovation, both at the fund level, Limited Partners level and companies led by women. For more innovation in Europe, we need more projects that represent clean, green, medical, and education sectors with solid elements of deep tech – and female General Partners are the ones who invest most in these projects.
We will reach our first milestone in only 3 to 5 years
The goal is 30% of total Limited Partners/Fund of Funds capital available to be invested for female-led funds. We're looking for a multiplier effect: To jump from 3% to 30% in 3 years.
In just eight years, we should reach equal stakes (by 2028!)
Don't you feel that after almost 20 years of initiatives with no results, this is the moment to start afresh?
Our asks are simple and easy to implement
Establish a Fund of Funds of €3B for women-led funds
Establish a European Fund of Funds of €3B to anchor female-led VCs and growth funds by contributing up to 50% of the capitalization of those funds, up to a maximum commitment size of €100M per fund.
Look into the existing pool of funds and Fund of Funds supported by the European Union to ensure at least one female General Partner
We need to create career paths and avenues for female talent to be promoted to the General Partner level and create their funds.
It is not enough for legacy funds to promote a female to a PARTNER title.
She needs to have percentage shareholding in the General Partner and every other benefit that the male General Partners have.
Grant/Loan to the General Partner contribution up to Fund II of the firm
Lack of capital upfront to fund the General Partner contribution is one of the most significant issues women face as emerging managers.
A tracking platform to make sure female-founded companies are being supported
We must ensure that VC firms have females at all decision-making levels, most notably at the General Partner level. Data talks: There is still no mandate for European-funded funds to track data on European capital allocation and how it affects ESG goals. We need:
Set Up Relationship-Building Events For Women-Led VC Firms and Limited Partners
Set up two events per year where women-led VC firms and international Limited Partners (including American, Asian, and others) are invited to network and establish relationships. These events will bring more capital to Europe and the female-led VC ecosystem.
Financial incentives to investment in women-led funds
Offer tax incentives to Limited Partners who invest in female-led funds and companies at the national and international level.
Sign the petition to push the ask for equality in access to capital for female founders
We will work to turn our asks into action. Your signature could make the difference in supporting women in the European VC and startup ecosystem
We will keep pushing to make this a reality. This group of unstoppable women will:
This report was brought to you by:
References & Further Reading:
- Atomico: https://2020.stateofeuropeantech.com/chapter/diversity-inclusion/article/diversity-inclusion/
- Global report: https://assets.ctfassets.net/jh572x5wd4r0/7qRourAWPj0U9R7MN5nWgy/711a6d8344bcd4fbe0f1a6dcf766a3c0/WVC_Report_-_The_Untapped_Potential_of_Women-Led_Funds.pdf
- France report: https://web-assets.bcg.com/ac/9b/b2c2e7ec41daa63154a0f15973e7/20210303-barometre-sista-x-cnnum-x-bcg.pdf
- Nordics report: https://report2020.unconventional.vc/
- CEE report : https://ceereport2021experiorvc.unconventional.vc/