Female CEOs get under 10 per cent of VC funding

The data shows the gender funding gap has not narrowed significantly for five years.

Less than 10 per cent of venture capital funding went to female-founded companies in the UK in 2017, according to data from PitchBook.

The research, which defines a female-founded company as having at least one female founder, found that Switzerland was one of the most equal country in Europe when it came to fundraising after 23.2 per cent of VC funding went to company’s lead by women in the country last year. Just 9.9 per cent went to female-led firms in the UK.

However, women-led companies in the UK may want to stay put as £614.1 million in VC funding was raised in the UK, beating efforts in France (271.7 million Euro), Germany (212 million Euro) and Switzerland (159.9 million Euro). This means that UK female-led companies received just under £61 million last year, compared to 36.5 million Euro in Switzerland.

See more: Women in tech – How long can we wait?

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Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO of British Business Investments commented, ‘Currently, the low levels of VC funding to female founders represent untapped potential.’

UK female CEOs of fast-growing companies include Anne Boden at Starling Bank, Abigail Rappoport, CEO of Emoquo and Ella Goldner, co-founder and general manager of Zinc. Rappoport and Goldner took part in a trade mission to Silicon Valley earlier this month as part of an event run by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan’s called #BehindEveryGreatCity initiative and Silicon Valley Comes to the UK (SVC2UK).

The only countries to grant women a decent proportion of VC funding was Malta and Cyprus, where 54.2 per cent and 88.7 per cent of VC fundraising went to female-led firms. Total funding for these countries was 2.3 million Euro and 21.7 million Euro respectively.

According to Tech Crunch, the number of VC backed female-founded companies globally nearly doubled from 9 per cent in 2009 to 17 per cent in 2017 but the figure has been stagnant since 2012.

Further reading on women in business

Is raising investment harder for female entrepreneurs?

Michael Somerville

Michael Somerville

Michael was senior reporter for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2018 to 2019.