The topic of women’s limited access to highly competitive venture capital (VC) dollars commonly finds its way into conversations about the state of women’s roles as economic players in the economy (Forbes, Businessweek, NYTimes). While there are currently a lopsided number of VC rounds going to companies founded by men, PitchBook data show that companies with at least one female founder (women-founded) have begun to hit a stride, increasing their share of venture rounds every year for the last 10 years. In 2004, women-founded companies represented a paltry 4% of all U.S. venture deals. Now, such companies represent a record 13% of VC deals through the first half of 2013.
While men continue to receive disproportionate attention from U.S. VC firms, it does appear that the direction of change in the allocation of VC money is slowly trending upward to women, who own 28.2% of all businesses in the United States according to The Center for Women's Business Research. The trend is more telling when looking at financings in the top 10 most active sectors. Through the first half of 2013, women-founded companies made up a record 40% of VC deals in the retail space and a record 33% in the consumer services space.