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How Women Invest closes first $5 million for new gender lens fund

ImpactAlpha, Aug. 13 – How Women Invest, a San Rafael, Calif.-based venture capital firm, is aiming to raise $10 million for its first fund from up to 249 accredited investors.

The mission, fund cofounder Erika Cramer told ImpactAlpha, is to bring more diverse women into the venture capital world and, in turn, fund more diverse female founders. Of the fund’s first 100 or so investors, 90% are women, and more than half are women of color. All of the fund’s two-dozen or so advisors are also women.

Network effects. The fund is looking to back up to a dozen seed or Series A rounds with an average $300,000 investment, reserving capital for follow-on investments. Deals are sourced and vetted through How Women Invest’s extensive network. Portfolio companies can also tap into the network for mentorship and connections.

Women rising. Cramer and her cofounder Julie Castro Abrams see an opportunity to grow the ranks of women investors. “More and more women are taking control of their own wealth,” says Cramer.

To aid newbie investors, they are offering investment training though a sister nonprofit, How Women Lead. The goal: to train 1,000 women, whether they are investors in the fund or not.

“We’re all about elevating the community,” says Cramer.

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