Mar 8, 2022 - Economy & Business

Women fintech founders rare across the industry

Data: FT Partners, Pitchbook, Nikkei; Chart: Axios Visuals

Stax, an Orlando, Fla.-based payments company, raised $245 million in funding valuing it over $1 billion. Greater Sum Ventures, HarbourVest Partners, and Blue Star Innovation Partners invested.

Why it matters: Based on recent data from FT Partners, Stax is one of just 23 fintech unicorns in the world with a woman founder or co-founder — a rare distinction in a sector that is more male-dominated than most.

Details: Led by CEO Suneera Madhani and her brother, president Sal Rehmetullah, the company processes payments and sells sales-tracking software to industries including retail and healthcare.

  • The company says it has processed over $23 billion in payments for 22,000 businesses since its founding in 2014.

Gut check: Despite talks of more equity in venture capital, progress in funding female-founded companies has plateaued in recent years, based on data from Pitchbook.

  • Solely female-founded U.S. companies have raised just 2.1% of all venture dollars so far in 2022, while those with a male co-founder have raised 12.5% of the total, down from a 2017 figure.

The bottom line: Female-founded and co-founded fintechs remain a rarity, making up less than 10% of that entire cohort in the world.

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