Fund Her North, the angel investment collective aimed at women founders, has facilitated £1.2m worth of investment after just three networking events.
Fund Her North is a volunteer group of more than 28 women – who work in VCs and funding organisations or are part of angel groups – with a combined investment power of over £450m between them. Fund Her North members have a combined history of investing over £75m in female-led, start-up businesses already.
The northern-based volunteer collective, which brings together women in the investment industry to support northern female founders, launched last October with support from Sara Davies, herself an entrepreneur based in County Durham and Dragons’ Den judge.
Twenty-six VCs are supporting Fund Her North including Mercia, Maven, Foresight, Deepbridge and Praetura.
Fund Her North has three objectives: educating women about the VC fundraising process from seed and Series A through to exit, mentoring female founders through the fundraising when they actually go through it, and recruiting more women angel investors.
Fund Her North has now launched the region’s only female angel syndicate, Women Angels of the North.
Women Angels of the North is open to any woman who has a minimum of £2,000 to invest in female-led start-ups three times per year.
Helen Oldham, founder of Fund Her North, says she was inspired to encourage more women to become angel investors after The Rose Review identified that only 1 per cent of VC funding went to female founders and 75 per cent of all angel funding centred on London and the South East.
This is despite business angels’ association UKBAA discovering that women angels are more likely to back female founders yet only 14 per cent of angels in the UK are women.
Oldham said: “The biggest pushback we get from prospective female investors isn’t fear of losing their investment but their own lack of understanding as to how this kind of investing works. They want to be seen to be good at this before they commit.”
Fund Her North itself is a spin-off from North Invest, a networking group connecting tech start-ups with around 160 investors based in the North. Last year NorthInvest facilitated £9m worth of investment in 19 companies.