Nov 3, 2022 - Business

Female startup founders in the Triangle see slowdown in funding

Data: PitchBook; Chart: Axios Visuals

Investor funding for women-led startups in the Triangle has slowed this year after hitting record highs in 2021, according to a new report from PitchBook.

What's happening: Triangle startups with a female founder or co-founder raised $178 million from investors in the first three quarters of this year.

  • Last year, they raised $409 million overall.

Yes, but: Still, the past few years have been strong — and the numbers are huge improvements from a decade ago.

  • In 2012, women-led companies raised only $75 million. Even through just three quarters, funding is up 137% this year in comparison.

Zoom in: The biotech industry has been especially fruitful. Two of the Triangle's biggest funding rounds this year have been to women-led biotech companies.

  • In March, Biomason, a Research Triangle Park-based company trying to make environmentally friendly cement, raised $65 million from investors. Biomason is led by Ginger Krieg Dosier.
  • And in May, Vestaron, a maker of crop protection products, raised $82 million. It is led by Anna Rath.

The big picture: Companies founded by women make up around 25% of investments nationally, according to PitchBook. In the Triangle, the proportion is around 21% this year; it was 26% in 2021.

  • Nationally, 2022 is already the second-biggest year for female-led startups, according to PitchBook.

What they're saying: Brooke Markevicius, founder of Durham-based Allobee, which connects people with flexible work opportunities, was part of the record wave of female founders raising money in 2021.

  • She's now trying to raise more money. She says conversations slowed to a halt in the summer but have begun to pick up again.
  • "Investors are being more cautious, and that can have a bigger impact on female-founded companies," she said.
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