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Female founders take bigger slice of European VC

Startups founded or cofounded by women now account for 24.4% of deal value in 2023, but the number of deals involving female-only founded companies has remained flat.

Female founders account for a larger share of overall European venture capital invested this year despite their share of deals remaining flat.

As of the end of February, just under €1 billion (about $1.1 billion) has been invested in 269 deals involving companies founded or co-founded by women, according to PitchBook data. This represents 24.4% of overall deal count and 19.4% of total capital invested in European startups.

Although female-only founded startups only received a fraction of overall VC investment, their percentage is going up. In 2022, they accounted for 0.9% of overall capital invested, whereas this year, that number has risen to 1.6%. Their percentage of deal count has remained at 5.3% for both years.

Startups with both female and male founders have seen their share of both deal count and value rise this year with 19.1% and 17.8% respectively, compared to 18.3% and 11.8% in 2022.

While female founders have grown their share of European VC deals and capital invested, the increase is still relatively small—a fact Kinga Stanislawska, founder of investment community European Women in VC, partly puts down to a lack of women with decision-making power in VC firms.

“Until AUM is allocated to female and diverse asset managers on the VC level, we cannot expect much change for female led and co-led startups,” Stanislawska said. “It has been proven that women are three times more likely to invest in other women. Therefore, by allocating capital to those on the VC level, we are more likely to have a downstream effect on the funding to the female-led and -co-led startups.”

Here’s a closer look at the data behind the fundraising environment from our European VC Female Founders Dashboard.

 


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