- Getty/Noam Galai
For women hoping to find investors, having at least one woman in the room can be beneficial. Having a fund made up almost entirely of women? Even better.
The good news for female entrepreneurs is that the number of women-focused funds has increased in the last few years.
In May 2014, we did a search through the portfolios of 27 early to mid-stage VCs in Silicon Valley and 15 in New York and could only find one firm that backs a lot of female founders.
But now, women have their pick of early stage firms. Here are some women-run venture capital funds prioritizing women-run companies.
Female Founders Fund
- Getty/Noam Galai
Founded in 2013 by Anu Duggal, Female Founders Fund invests largely in early-stage, women-led companies in e-commerce and web-enabled products and services. While some of its investments are heavily women-focused companies — like Ringly, which creates wearables for women that are designed to look like cocktail jewelry, or Eloquii, a contemporary fashion brand for women sized 14 to 24 — its other investments are broader in scope.
Minibar is an on-demand alcohol delivery service, Manicube offers 15-minute manicure and barber services and will come right to your office, and WayUp connects recent grads with internships and entry-level jobs.
- Getty/Brian Ach
Founded by Susan Lyne, former president of entertainment at ABC, CEO of Gilt.com and head of AOL’s Brand Group, and Nisha Dua, former general manager of AOL’s Cambio, BBG Ventures stemmed from AOL’s #BuiltByGirls initiative and is backed by AOL. The fund invests in startups that have at least one female founder and are consumer-focused internet and mobile companies.
- Aspect Ventures
San Francisco-basedAspect Ventureswas founded in 2014 and has raised $150 million to date. Founded by Theresia Gouw, former partner at Accel Partners, and Jennifer Fonstad (shown here), former partner and managing director at Draper Fisher Jurvetson, the firm invests in Series A and seed venture rounds. Aspect’s current portfolio includes millennial job-search website The Muse, e-commerce jewelry site BaubleBar and mobile marketing startup FollowAnalytics.
Even if you haven’t heard of Forerunner Ventures, you’ve probably heard of a lot of its investments. Forerunner is focused on commerce investments and the firm’s portfolio includes Birchbox (a subscription beauty box service), eyeglasses startup Warby Parker, Dollar Shave Club, and online shopping community Wanelo.
Founded by Kirsten Green, who formerly served as an equity research analyst and investor at Banc of America Securities, Forerunner’s team is made up entirely of women. Forerunner Ventures is based in San Francisco.