Mar 5, 2020 - Economy & Business

2019 saw record number of female-founded startups raise venture capital

An illustration of money popping in and out of the screen.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

A record number of female-founded startups raised venture capital in 2019, representing more than a 500% increase from 2010, based on new data from PitchBook and All Raise. Median valuations also hit all-time highs.

Background: The bump in global deal numbers comes amidst a (slow) increase in female venture capitalists, including those with actual checkbooks, and against the backdrop of increased exits for mixed-gender founding teams (+7% in 2019, compared to a 4% year-over-year decrease for all-male founding teams).

Yes, but: Not all the new numbers were positive, particularly when it came to actual money raised. Only 16% of all venture investment dollars invested in 2019 went to startups with at least one female founder, down from 18% in 2018. So far in 2020, the figure is just 13%.

  • In terms of deal number, 21% of all funded startups in 2019 had at least one female founder.

The bottom line: Venture capital should briefly celebrate its progress, and then get back to work doing much, much better.

Go deeper