20 Venture Capital Funds That Invest In Female Founders

venture capital funding for female founders


Apr. 18 2019, Published 4:04 a.m. ET

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Glossier and Rent the Runway, two startups founded and led by women, made headlines as both startups hit unicorn status, reaching a valuation of $1 billion or more. This news gives us not one, but two, success stories for venture capital funding for female founders for 2019. 

Last year, there were plenty of articles and insights surrounding gender diversity in venture capital funding. The dialogue continue to shape conversations, add perspectives and share much-needed optimism for the years that lie ahead for investments made in female-founded companies.

Here are a few snapshots of the VC landscape for female founders.

  • According to Pitchbook, women garnered 2.2% of the total capital invested in venture-backed startups in the U.S. last year.
  • Of the 134 VC-backed U.S.-based companies valued at $1 billion or more, aka “unicorns,” just 16 have a woman co-founder.
  • 2018 saw the creation of several women-led funds, incubators for female founders and efforts to increase female founder funding.
  • According to data from All Raise, the percentage of women leadership roles in venture capital only moved from 8.9 percent to 9.5 percent, according to data from All Raise thus making it harder for female founders to find investors who relate to. 

Simply put, there is a lot more work to be done for female-led and gender diverse startups to have the same level of access and success in scaling their businesses through venture capital funding. Below you will find a list of venture capital investments firms, angel networks, funding platforms and family offices that invest in gender diverse and female-founded companies.

Please note that the portfolio companies listed were chosen at random and does not represent all female-founded or gender diverse companies within the designated firm, angel network, funding platform or family office.

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1. Female Founders Fund

Location: Based in New York City

Investment Focus: Women led startups in areas of e-commerce, web-enabled products and services, marketplaces, and platforms.

Female Founded Portfolio Companies: Billie, Coterie, Rent the Runway, Zola, Shine, Spruce Up

2. Plum Alley Investments

Location: Based in New York City 

Investment Focus: Gender diverse founding teams raising a Series A financing with industry focuses in AI, blockchain, VR/AR, enterprise, marketplaces, education, IoT, healthcare, technology, and selective biotech.

Female Founded Portfolio Companies: Aclima, Vital Vio, ThinkCerca, Ketos,

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3. Backstage Capital

Location: Based in New York City 

Investment Focus: Women, People of Color, and LGBT founders

Female Founded Portfolio Companies: Uncharted Power, Carrot, Swivel Beauty, CareAcademy, Seed, Dibs

4. SoGal Ventures

Location: Based in New York City

Investment Focus: Investing in seed stage diverse founding teams in the U.S. and Asia, and aim to be the first institutional investor for their portfolio companies. Their investments paint the future picture of how we live, work, and stay healthy.

Female Founded Portfolio Companies: Function of Beauty, Everlywell, Aday, Mogul, Little Spoon Winky Lux

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5. Golden Seeds

Location: Based in New York City 

Investment Focus: Angel network Seeking and funding high-potential, women-led  B2B & B2C technology businesses in health care, consumer products or services industries.

Female Founded Portfolio Companies: BentoBox, NextShift Robotics, Proseeder, OwlInsights, Lovesac

6. Lerer Hippeau

Location: Based in New York City 

Investment Focus: New York City brands in all categories

Female Founded Portfolio Companies: Baublebar, Brit+Co, Glossier, GlamSquad, HeyDay, MIRROR, Prose

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7. BBG Ventures

Location: Based in New York City 

Investment Focus: Investing at seed-stage with a focus on consumer internet and consumer tech: marketplaces, commerce, media, and consumer products.

Female Founded Portfolio Companies: Glamsquad, Rocksbox, Rockets of Awesome, Zola, Beautycon, Shine, The Wing

8. Cowboy Ventures

Location: Based in Palo Alto, California

Investment Focus: Investing in seed-stage technology companies who are building products that “re-imagine” work and personal life in large and growing markets

Female Founded Portfolio Companies: Brandless, Brit+Co, Gixo, Guild, Heartwork, Hone, Hooked

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9. Forerunner Ventures

Location: Based in San Francisco, California

Investment Focus: Investing in B2C Products, Services and  experiences; B2B upgrades and unlocks

Female Founded Portfolio Companies: Away, Draper James, Glossier, Outdoor Voices, Prose, Ritual, Zola

10. AmplifyHER Ventures

Location: Based in New York City 

Investment Focus: Investing in commerce (identifiable brands with data-driven market opportunities and competitive logistics), Well-being (Tech-enabled innovations that yield greater efficiencies in consumer health, hospital infrastructure, and everyday living) and Information Delivery (Groundbreaking platforms and tools that enhance the expression, distribution and monetization of information)

Female Founded Portfolio Companies: SVRF, Biotia, Summersalt, Solstice, Inspr, Copper Cow Coffee, MYNDYOU

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11. The Jump Fund

Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Investment Focus: Angel network Investing in women entrepreneurs to ignite growth ventures throughout the Southeast

Female Founded Portfolio Companies: Feetz, SuperFan, Bark, Fleetwood Coffee, rimidi

12. Halogen Ventures

Location: Based in Los Angeles, California

Investment Focus: Investing in  early stage female founded consumer technologies

Female Founded Portfolio Companies: theSkimm, Beautycon, Carbon38, Tinted, Naja, HopSkipDrive, Bulletin

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13. Red Sea Ventures

Location: Based in New York City

Investment Focus: Investing in next generation commerce, the future of work, the future of living, and consumer health 

Female Founded Portfolio Companies: Joor, Outdoor Voices, Prose, Universal Standard, WayUp, Violet Grey

14. Benchmark

Location: Based in San Francisco, California

Investment Focus: Investing in early-stage companies  in mobile, marketplaces, social, and infrastructure and enterprise software

Female Founded Portfolio Companies: Solv, Hound Labs, Confluent, Hipcamp, Nextdoor, Minted

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15. Trinity Ventures

Location: Based in New York City 

Investment Focus: Investing in early stage tech start-ups with a focus on consumer services, horizontal + vertical SaaS, and cloud infrastructure

Female Founded Portfolio Companies:, Bevi, WayUp, Alice, Thrive Causemetics, Turo 

16. Battery Ventures

Location: Based in Boston, Massachusetts, San Francisco, California, Silicon Valley, Israel, New York City, and London, England

Investment Focus: Investing in companies with potentially cutting-edge, category-defining businesses in markets including application software, IT infrastructure and consumer Internet/mobile

Female Founded Portfolio Companies: Angie’s List, Joor, Serena & Lily, 6sense, Weddington Way 

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17. Bain Capital Ventures

Location: Based in New York City, Boston, Massachusetts, Palo Alto and San Francisco, California

Investment Focus: Investing in high-growth enterprise software opportunities across functions and industries, including Infrastructure Software, SaaS and Data Services,

Marketing Tech, FinTech and Healthcare

Female Founded Portfolio Companies: Alice, Perksy, Rent the Runway, 6sense, ABILITY Network

18. Gingerbread Capital

Location: Based in Menlo Park, California

Investment Focus: Investing in technology-enabled high-growth businesses where automation, AI and data analytics propel the brand, revenues and customer satisfaction 

Female Founded Portfolio Companies: Perksy, Landit, Coffee Meets Bagel, Draper James, theSkimm, Zola

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19. Floodgate

Location: Based in Palo Alto, California

Investment Focus: Investing in capitally efficient innovative start-ups with a philosophy of building growth roadmaps alongside product roadmaps 

Female Founded Portfolio Companies: Refinery29, Aconite, Bot M.D., Chairman Mom, Greo, Mighty Networks, 

20. First Round Capital

Location: Based in New York City, San Francisco, California and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

Investment Focus: Investments tend to focus on the enterprise, consumer, hardware, fintech and healthcare industries but is open to any vertical

Female Founded Portfolio Companies: Birchbox, CourtBuddy, UrbanSitter, Refinery29, Modern Fertility, Haven 

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By: Shanice Graves

Originally from the Midwest, Shanice Graves is a writer and public relations professional leveraging a focus on content creation and digital marketing. Shanice has brought her PR and marketing background to multiple New York startup communities and industries such as fashion technology, education, social good, and venture capitalism. She believes in radicalizing the way organizations communicate and market core business messages by embracing modern digital resources and tools. She graduated from Ball State University with a degree in Public Relations and Image Management. She is also an active advocate for diversity and inclusion in the workplace and supporting female founders in scaling their business through venture funding.

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