Things could’ve been worse, I guess.
Companies with all female-founding teams raised about $800 million, or 2.1%, out of the estimated $37 billion invested in U.S. startups in Q1 2023, according to PitchBook. In dollar terms, that is a 53% year-over-year decline from the $1.7 billion all-female founding teams raised in Q1 2022.
The decline isn’t a surprise. Venture and technology markets are not as confident as they have been in the past. A recession still looms, geopolitical upheaval continues and tech stocks aren’t faring well. When the economy is volatile, appetite for risk decreases, which impacts venture totals in general and certain founders in particular.
Female founders, already seen as inherently riskier than male founders, are often overlooked, ignored and stored away until the next global social movement awakens everyone’s intention for good.
Once again measured in dollars raised, mixed-gender teams also saw their venture totals decline on a year-over-year basis, raising $7 billion in Q1 2023. Last year, that cohort raised $15.8 billion.
The dollar amounts, however, don’t tell the entire story. Though they raised less capital in the first quarter of 2023, mixed-gender teams are faring better than ever in terms of their share of all venture dollars, raising 18.9% of the capital invested thus far this year in U.S. startups. The past two years saw them raise an average 17.5% of total funding.
As the year continues, this share will probably change for better or worse depending on the amount of capital invested in such teams and venture aggregates themselves.
Tracking venture dollars raised is a useful metric, if an incomplete one. We also want to know how many deals were struck in total, and by whom. Here, the data may surprise.