We started this research with the 2010 dataset, which indicated there was c$3 billion of venture funds raised by companies with at least one female founder, but saw that amount grow to $26 billion in 2019. The breakdown to female-only founded companies was $1 billion in 2010 and close to $6 billion in 2019. These amounts, while increasing, were not close to parity with male-only founded companies which raised $31 billion in 2010 and $195 billion in 2019. The absolute number of funded companies with a female founder has doubled in the past five years compared to the previous five years. However, we see sluggish growth in proportion year over year. The ratio to female-only founded companies has been stagnant with that segment raising 2 or 3 percent of venture for 8 out of the last 10 years. Female/male co-founded moved from 6 to 9 percent of dollars over a 10-year timeframe. Round counts tend to be slightly higher as a proportion; 19 percent of rounds versus 12 percent of dollars in 2019 to both female-only and female/male co-founded, with female-only rounds shifting from 4 percent in 2010 to 6 percent in 2019.
The increase in round counts relative to invested dollars in 2019 is double-edged. A higher count of rounds could potentially mean more startups with a female founder, but it also suggests that female founders tend to raise less than their male counterparts. [See section on median and average seed and Series A rounds.] Note: Companies without founders associated are not included in this analysis, which found over 90 percent of venture dollars associated with companies with founders over the decade. [See methodology section below] Using the Crunchbase dataset, we tracked founders and funding from the seed through venture rounds, excluding private equity rounds for this analysis. We closed out the decade with the following findings:
- In 2019, 20 percent of global startups that raised their first funding round had a female founder, doubling from 10 percent in 2009.
- In the last five years, close to 9,900 startups raising an initial funding round had a female founder, almost double the count from the previous five years with 5,300 startups.
- There were 21 new female co-founded unicorn companies in 2019, the highest count in a one year period. In 2018, there were 15 new female co-founded unicorns. This subset includes companies with female-only founded and male/female co-founded companies.
- In 2019, female-only founded companies raised 3 percent of venture dollars and female/male co-founded raised 9 percent of venture dollars. The proportion of venture dollars to female-only has been stagnant; raising 2 or 3 percent venture for 8 out of the last 10 years. Female/male co-founded has moved from 6 to 9 percent of funding over a 10-year timeframe.
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Thanks again for reading this article from the Licas Ventures Team