Perhaps unsurprisingly, new PitchBook data found that U.S. companies with all female founders are raising less capital this year than the last amid current economic woes.
Last year, women raised around 2.4% of all venture capital allocated, a figure that stands at 1.9% through Q3 of this year. That number becomes even lower and even worse if we factor race into account. When the overall number for all-female teams was 2.4% last year, Black and Latinx women hovered around 0.05% each, while Indigenous Americans raised approximately 0.004% of known capital in the United States, according to Crunchbase.
It has long been a worry that, as the venture market slows, the most marginalized groups would be pushed aside as investors retreat to old networks and deals that feel most familiar to them from the founders they don’t hesitate to trust. The direct line between the venture haves and have-nots has always been stark, but there is some good news on the front.
Year-to-date capital invested in all-female-founded companies in the United States is slightly higher than what was disbursed in all of 2020. (Last year was a record-breaking year, and given the current market conditions, it’s not shocking that present-day numbers are meager in comparison). All-female teams raised $3.6 billion (out of a total U.S. figure of $194.9 billion) across 742 deals so far this year. In all of 2020, all-female teams raised $3.3 billion (out of $168.7 billion) across 771 deals. It’s clear that 2021 was an outlier: all-female teams raised $8 billion across 1,132 deals.
“There is no logical justification for why female founders should be impacted any more so than any other founder category, be it in a bear or bull market.” Pippa Lamb of Sweet Capital
It’s jarring to note the difference between deal counts and the amount of money raised when the founding teams are mixed gender rather than all-female. Compared to $3.6 billion worth of deals all-female teams closed this year, teams with at least one male co-founder raised $32.4 billion in 2,811 deals. So far, mixed-gender teams have also been able to secure the same percentage of capital they raised last year, around 17%.