Today it’s female Equality Day, also known as the day women get the right to vote. Of course, there is nuance to the date, as Indigenous women are not guaranteed this right in every state until 1962 and black women were not allowed to vote until 1965.
This story of slow progress is still seen in every American industry and sector. Venture capital is no different. Overall, women received 2.3 percent of the $341 billion in venture capital funds raised by U.S. startups last year—that’s about 7.7 billion dollarsand this was a record amount for companies founded only by women.
Progress in the amount of venture capital funding raised by companies with all-female teams has been slow and daunting, if steady. I’m looking at Data from PitchBook, in 2008, all-female founding teams raised $461 million of the nearly $37 billion invested in U.S. startups that year. By 2012, that number had jumped to $750 million (up from over $41 billion) and then to $1.6 billion (up from over $72 billion) in 2014.
“More women need to be funded and round sizes need to be bigger.” Christy Pitts, General Partner, Backstage Capital
The cohort saw a slight dip in 2016, raising $1.4 billion (up from nearly $78 billion), an amount that jumped to a staggering $3.1 billion (up from about $140 billion) in 2018. Since then, the amounts raised of all-female founder teams fell slightly again in 2020, eventually landing where they are today: $3 billion in venture capital funds, compared to $144.2 billion invested in U.S. startups in first two quarters of 2022
These numbers tell a story as old as time—this change is far from linear.