Feb 14, 2019

Venture capital is still very much a boys' club

Icons by Gan Khoon Lay via the Noun Project; Chart: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Venture capital is still very much a boys' club, according to a new Axios analysis.

By the numbers: Only 9.65% of decision-makers at U.S. venture capital firms are women. The breakdown was 105 female decision-makers out of an industry total of 1,088. That's up from 8.93% in a similar analysis last year, and 7% in 2017. The 2016 mark was 5.7%.

  • We defined "decision-makers" as the top level of a firm's investment management, and we excluded administrative positions like CFOs and heads of investor relations. In other words, people with checkbooks.
  • As in the past, we only included firms that had raised at least one fund of $100 million over the past 5 years (in this case, 2014–2018). That means the sample changes slightly each time. This year it included 284 firms. We also exclude corporate VC funds, since it's often unclear who makes final decisions.

Yes, progress is still very slow, even in a year that saw brand-name firms like Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark, Redpoint Ventures and Union Square Ventures add their first-ever female general partners.

  • VC partnerships simply don't turn over too often, regardless of gender. But, that said, only 19% of the "added" decision-maker spots last year went to women.
  • Firms are clearly concerned about the optics, with more and more obfuscating job titles on their websites — including several who position junior-level women (including EAs) above the male general partners on their team pages.

The bottom line: Do better.

Go deeper: Tech's diversity crisis: 40% of VCs went to Harvard or Stanford

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Uber's pre-IPO holders cash in

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

During his time as Uber's CEO, Travis Kalanick never sold any of his shares. It was one of the few unambiguously noble things he did, in an age in which many other CEOs were cashing in big on secondaries.

Driving the news: While we were on break, Kalanick sold his entire remaining stake in the company and resigned from its board of directors. His windfall was in the billions, even though Uber is valued well below where it went public (let alone its valuation when Kalanick was last in charge).

Go deeperArrowJan 8, 2020

Women take the lead on donating to support female college sports

The Indiana Hoosiers celebrate after the NCAA Women's College Basketball game. Photo: Bobby Goddin/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Former female athletes are donating millions of dollars to build facilities, endow scholarships and support coaching positions at their alma maters, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Participation in women’s college sports teams is at an all time high, outnumbering men's sports for more than 20 years. And yet, the marketing and sponsorships from benefactors for college female teams has caught on slower than men's sports.

Go deeperArrowDec 25, 2019

J.D. Vance launches VC fund for startups beyond Silicon Valley

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Investor J.D. Vance has raised $93 million to start a venture capital firm, Narya Capital, based in his home state of Ohio, with fund backing from major names including Peter Thiel, Marc Andreessen, Eric Schmidt and Scott Dorsey.

Why it matters: Vance's 2017 bestselling memoir, "Hillbilly Elegy," gave voice to rural, working-class resentment in left-behind America that helped Trump win the White House, and he has been a strong proponent of investing in often-overlooked places.

Go deeperArrowJan 9, 2020