Who Run the World? Women-Led Startups Raise $7B in VC

If your company has at least one female founder, you’re a part of this statistic.

US companies with at least one female founder brought in $7.2 billion in venture capital funding in 2018 so far. That’s a marked improvement from $12.3 billion raised in the whole of 2017, a small percentage (15%) of $81.9 billion, the total money raised by startups last year.

The icing on the cake? This includes four rounds of at least $100 million: Philadelphia-based biotech company Tmunity‘s $135 million financing, Silicon Valley-based Twist Bioscience‘s $125 million round, NYC-based wedding planning startup Zola and our very own office catering service, ezCater.

Image courtesy: Pitchbook

A study conducted earlier this year found Massachusetts ranked at the bottom, 46 out of 50, in supporting women who start businesses trailing behind New Hampshire, Connecticut and Nebraska. One of the factors responsible for this is that the percentage of female entrepreneurs is lower than the national average.

But things are changing – the percentage might be low but Boston is still home to several companies including ArtLifting, AustismSees, Bevi, ezCater, Wanderu, that are led by women. Not only that, this year’s MassChallenge was proud to have 51 percent of companies with at least one female founder. Also, don’t forget that the budding cannabis industry in the state has a strong female command. 

The startup community is building resources for female entrepreneurs in the city with initiatives like #AtTheTable, a dinner series that each month brings about a dozen women together just to hang out and socialize. Other women-focused programs in Boston include Female Founder Office Hours, during which top female VCs met entrepreneurs for 30-minute one-on-one meetings and  XFactor Ventures, a micro-fund from Flybridge Capital Partners that only invests in female-founded startups. There is also Converge, a women-led venture capital firm run by Maia Heymann and Nilanjana Bhowmik.

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