More than two dozen new private gender-lens funds launched in 2018



This year’s new entrants bring the number of private equity, venture capital, and private debt funds making bets on women to 87, according to Project Sage, an initiative of Wharton Social Impact and gender-lens advocate Suzanne Biegel. Altogether, the gender-lens funds covered in the project’s forthcoming report have raised $2.25 billion and backed 828 companies, that’s up from 58 such private funds that had raised $1.3 billion and backed 650 companies in last year’s report.

“Women venture partners who have been thinking about this for a while have decided, given the attention and energy in the marketplace, to just do it,” said Biegel, who is co-producing this week’s Gender-Smart Investment Summit in London.

  • New funds include Jane VC in Ohio, which backs female-led, early stage, tech firms; Dubai-based Mindshift Capital, which invests in female-led foodtech, health, fintech and education businesses in the Middle East, U.S. and Europe; Reign Ventures in Miami, which is investing at least half its portfolio in female or minority founders; and UK and London-based Victus Global Capital, which invests in women-led African agribusiness.
  • Gender-lens first timers. As many as 60 of the gender-lens funds were raised by first-time (gender-lens) fund managers. Female limited partners made up more than half the LPs in the set of funds. Three in four ventures partners were women. Fund managers are realizing “this is an underserved market segment and that there is deal flow, there are quality opportunities, and that there is investor appetite,” Biegel told ImpactAlpha.

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