Last updated 6 days ago
Industry News

In a Banner Year for VC, Women Still Struggle to Get Funding

VENTURE CAPITALISTS HAVE broken records every quarter this year, pushing more money into the startup ecosystem with bigger and bigger deals. Amid this funding frenzy, some female-founded companies are raising “mega rounds,” including Tia Health ($100 million), Maven Clinic ($110 million), and Insitro ($400 million). Overall, startups with a woman founder raised $25 billion in the first half of 2021—more than the total amount raised by women any full year prior.

It can seem like a moment of triumph for Silicon Valley, which has long been called a boy’s club. But percentage wise, the amount of venture capital going to female entrepreneurs is lower in 2021 than it has been for the last five years. That’s especially true for startups with all-female founding teams, which have raised just 2.3 percent of venture capital this year, according to Crunchbase. Startups with mixed-gender cofounders raised 11.7 percent of funding. In other words: 86 percent of venture funding still goes only to men.

“We’re coming off of three historic years of deployment of venture capital, so in the macro the landscape does seem to be better. But it’s not really,” says Pam Kostka, the CEO of All Raise, a nonprofit that supports female entrepreneurs. Funding numbers have been “flat at best,” with some groups receiving less year-over-year: A report from Project Diane found that Black and Latina female founders received 0.43 percent of venture funding in 2020, down from 0.67 percent the year before.

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