That’s what we’ll remember most about 2019. It was a year of making connections and collaborations. A year that welcomed a host of new VC funds and LPs, along with stronger advocacy and ground-breaking events focused on supporting and investing in women and diverse founders. The business press was paying attention, too, to the “fundamental shift in the inner workings of VC” underway, as femstreet noted, with lots of ink devoted to the growing community of women in VC who are investing in female founders.
We start 2020 with heightened optimism and momentum. The Global Directory of Women in VC, launched last March by Sutian Dong and Jessica Peltz-Zatulove, now includes more than 2,000 women VCs around the world. Numerous new funds — among them Harlem Capital, the Operator Collective, and Moxxie Ventures — joined the list of 70+ VC funds, dubbed “interrupters,” that focus on women and diverse founders.
We’re proud to be one of the interrupters, and to be part of this growing ecosystem. We closed the year as an LP in 12 of these funds and are stoked about the 56 knock-out companies we now have in our portfolio.
Still, the journey to parity in the VC industry is just beginning. The percentage of VC investments in founding teams with at least one woman rose in 2019, to about 11.4%, according to early figures from Pitchbook. Yet startups led solely by women accounted for just 2.8% — about $3.3 billion — of VC investments. The percentage of capital invested has actually remained fairly flat over the last decade for only-women led startups. Fact is, women, and especially women of color, still are not raising anywhere near the VC funding of their (white) male counterparts.
This is due, in great part, to the persistent absence of women and people of color in the VC industry overall. That’s why advocacy will be vital to accelerating deal flow to women and diverse founders. All Raise is leading the charge to increase the number of women as partners in VC firms, drive more investments to women founders and increase women in leadership roles across the tech industry. Last November, we joined about 600 other women in VC at the All Raise VC Summit in Oakland, and felt the immense energy and power in joining forces to speed things up a bit. As Ita says, “we don’t want to wait another hundred years to achieve equality. I’d like to see it in our lifetime!”
2020, we’re certain, will be the year we solidified the groundwork to make that happen. Notes All Raise CEO Pam Kostka:
This isn’t just a moment. It’s a movement.
Click here for highlights of our Q4 2019 — new LP investments and companies in the GBC portfolio.