Though all-female teams receive just a penny in every pound of venture capital investment, Here and Now, the latest report from the Female Founders Forum, reveals that the share of funding to women-led firms has doubled in less than a decade. For some, the perception may be that male-led firms outperform, but our follow-on funding data show women are just as bankable an investment.
Female-founded startups are receiving a growing share of investment. In 2011, 11% of startups that raised equity investment for the first time were female founded. In 2018, this figure had nearly doubled to 21%.
Of the 6,147 equity deals made in 2018, 17.9% went to companies with at least one female founder, down from 18.2% in 2017. Nonetheless the total value of investments in businesses with at least one female founder in 2018, as a percentage, was 11.4%, up from 9.9% in 2017.
Using data from Beauhurst, we find that female-founded businesses also have similar rates of follow-on funding. Once they received an initial investment, female-founded startups were just as likely to raise additional rounds of funding compared to non-female-founded firms (52% vs 51% for startups without a female founder).
Amongst startups five or more years on from their first raise, female founded startups were more likely to have secured a second funding round (66.5% vs 62.8%) and marginally more likely to have secured a third funding round (42.8% vs 41.8%).
Here and Now raises a number of issues for policymakers, schools, the media and others to consider.
Should open the doors of Number 10 and Parliament to female entrepreneurs and formally validate their efforts.
Must instil the right skills, financial literacy and self-belief in young girls from school age so that they may become the entrepreneurs of the future.
Must continue its efforts to shine a spotlight on the barriers to female entrepreneurship, profile those women in male- dominated industries, and ensure others get the role models they need to start and scale up.
Could continue to work with organisations like Diversity VC and consider training programmes to tackle unconscious bias.
The report features three case studies of female founders smashing stereotypes in male-dominated industries.
Elvie – which is behind the kegel trainer and silent breast pump – was recently listed as one of the UK’s Top 100 fastest-growing businesses.
“When raising money, bear in mind that you will need to work with these individuals for a long time. You need to be sure they are right for you – not just the other way around.”
Founder, AA Advisors
AA Advisors was founded in 2007 when Daly decided to apply her skills and knowledge, acquired during a career working for some of the largest global investment banks, to her own “PnL”.
“Never before has there been a better time to be a female founder: we need to be positive about the here and now.”
Turkey-born entrepreneur Tugce Bulut founded AI market research company Streetbees in 2015. It was recently listed as one of the UK’s Top 100 fastest-growing firms.
“We must teach children entrepreneurial skills from the start. I cannot stress enough how important it is to learn how to take risks and cope with failure.”