In conjunction with Women’s History Month, PitchBook recently launched its VC Female Founders Dashboard
—an interactive tool that looks at investment trends for companies founded by women over the past decade. Digging into the insight, we want to look at a singular datapoint—the number of VC-funded software startups led by female (co-)founders—to illustrate the level of detail offered through the new tool.
From Ada Lovelace and the world’s first algorithm to Grace Hopper’s pioneering vision for a more technologically connected world, women throughout history have made important contributions
to computer science and software engineering. And they continue to do so today.
In the past decade, venture capitalists have invested $23.8B in female-founded software startups, according to PitchBook data. During that time, the states with the highest number of deals include California, New York and Massachusetts. For example, Woodbury, New York’s Replika Software
was co-founded by Kareen Mallet
and raised $305,000 in VC funding in 2017.
Looking further into geography, metro areas with the highest deal counts involving software companies with female founders are the San Francisco Bay Area ($8.5B invested across 1,195 deals), Greater New York City ($4B across 870 deals) and Santa Clara County ($3.5B and 392 deals). Headquartered in San Francisco, for example, network management software company Cloudflare
was co-founded by Michelle Zatlyn
and raised $150M in VC funding in March 2019. Austin and Philadelphia round-out the top ten regions for deals in this space, and $88M was invested across 104 deals in cities that fell outside of an MSA area completely.
Since 2008, more than half of the 5,193 investments made to software companies with female (co-)founders went to startups in their Angel and Seed Stages. But the largest chunk of capital—$11.2B across 637 deals—went to Later VC-stage companies, like customer engagement hub platform Usermind
. Led by CEO Michel Feaster
, the Seattle-based startup raised $23.5M of Series C funding in 2018. Most software companies who received VC funding during this ten-year period had a mix of female and male founders, but $2.5B across 1,008 deals went to companies whose founder or founders were exclusively female.
If you’re interested in learning more, PitchBook’s News and Analysis team parsed the dashboard data for key takeaways
and spoke to several women in venture capital. You can also check out the VC Female Founders Dashboard