Group of multiracial businesswomen in casuals together at office desk and looking at camera. Female … [+]
Last year, pre-COVID-19, two of the most underserved groups—minority and women founders—were on the rise. However, “there is still a long way to go to close the gap for women of color,” Harlem Capital partners express.
Harlem Capital, a venture capital firm focused on investing in minority and women founders, set out to map the ecosystem of women tech entrepreneurs after the realization that popular databases had not fully tracked founders with a unique focus on segmentation based on descent. As a result, the venture capital firm’s 2018 report, resulted in in-bound traffic from dozens of founders leading to the expansion of their work. In a report released recently, Harlem Capital delved deeper into unpacking the data on women founders.
According to digital resources, over 2,300 women founders have raised $1M+ of venture capital funding. In their 2019 report, the Harlem Capital team analyzed over 1,700 of the 2,300+ women founders utilizing publicly listed funding information and conducted a micro-segment study of the top 300 women founders. Read further to learn few of their findings.
Master List: 1,000+ Women Founders
Of the 1,714 women founders Harlem Capital reviewed who have raised over $1M in funding, women collectively raised a total of $56.4B in capital. They also held an average founding year of 2013 and an individual fundraised amount of $5.8M. These founders represented 63 industries with a large number of the founders (32%) from the software, biotech, and healthcare industries. Of the most highly represented industries, women raised a total of 33% of all capital.
Collectively, across the larger population of founders analyzed, over 50% of all companies were in their early stages at the seed and Series-A rounds. While the industry that led the charge with the largest median raised was the Human Resources (HR) industry at $80M followed by Crowdsourcing at $69M and Materials at $58M. Of the 92 headquartered cities, founders were based in San Francisco (515), New York City (344), Los Angeles (147), and Boston (102). These cities similarly led the largest portfolio of funds raised with San Francisco nearing $22B.
The Pacesetters: Top 300 Women Founders
In a deeper dive of the top 300 women founders who have raised $1M+, Harlem Capital identified women of the following descents, White/Caucasian (52%), Black/African American (18%), Latina (16%), and Asian (14%). White ($36B) and Asian ($8B) women founders raised 14.8 times or $41B more than African American and Latina women. And of the 26 industries analyzed, 40% of women founders represented 3 industries, Biotech (37), E-commerce (34), and Software (34). A large majority of these founders similarly lived in San Francisco (95), New York City (52), and Los Angeles (28).
The total capital raised among the top 300 women founders was highest in the Finance ($11B), Biotech ($6B), and Industry & Energy ($4B) industries. A large majority of these women were in their Post Series B (88) round, followed by those in their Seed (54), and Series B (35) rounds. The total capital raised in a post Series B round was $17B with individual founders’ average capital raised at $2B.
While looking at woman representation on the venture capital side in 2018, a large finding from Harlem Capital’s report was that out of 200 Black and Latinx venture capitalists nearly 40% women and only 27 women were decision makers. In comparison, when reviewing the top 300 women founders, 132 were Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) or Co-Founders (112) and the remaining were Founders (21), Chief Operating Officers (14), Presidents (11), Chief Marketing Officers (8), Chief Financial Officers (3), or Chief Officer (12). A large majority of these founding teams had two founders (98), one founder (60), or three founders (57).
Additionally, while nationally to date women are leading the charge for the most degrees earned, among the top 300 women founders who’ve raised over $1M in funding the statistics for degree attainment vary greatly. Relative to their individual sample sizes, most Asian and White/Caucasian women attained a Bachelor’s degree while higher numbers of Black/African American and Latina women held Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees. White/Caucasian women also ranked the second highest in holding MBA degrees. And Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees fell second in the ranks for Asian women and Latina women, and third for White/Caucasian women while for African American women PhDs showed very minimal representation.
Top 10 Largest Raises
- $7B- Credit Karma, Nichole Mustard, Co-founder in Finance Industry
- $2.5B- Kabbage, Kathryn Petralia, Co-founder and COO in Finance Industry
- $2.4B- Sunnova, Lyda Attawa, COO in Energy Industry
- $2.1B- Fair, Jennifer Parke, Co-founder in Transportation Industry
- $1.6B- Commonbond, Jossup Shean, Co-founder in Finance Industry
- $1.4B- Sunrun, Lynn Jurich, CEO in Energy Industry
- $793M- 23andMe, Anne Wojcicki and Linda Avey, Co-founders in Biotechnology Industry
- $719M- Ginkgo Bioworks, Reshma Shetty, Co-founder in Healthcare Industry
- $700M- Horizon Robotics, Annie Tao, Co-founder in Artificial Intelligence Industry
- $613M- Houzz, Jadi Tatarko, CEO in Real Estate Industry
Top 12 Investors
- New Enterprise Associates (NEA)– a venture capital firm that invests in biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, technology, and healthcare sectors.
- Y Combinator– a seed accelerator that funds early stage startups.
- 500 Startups– an early-stage venture fund and seed accelerator.
- GV– a venture capital firm funding new companies in the fields of life science, healthcare, artificial intelligence, robotics, transportation, cyber security and agriculture.
- Sequoia Capital– a venture capital firm focused on the technology industry.
- Kleiner Perkins– a venture capital firm that invests in incubation, early stage, and growth companies.
- Kapor Capital– a venture capital investment arm of the Kapor Center for Social Impact.
- Comcast Ventures– a venture capital firm focused on entrepreneurs building consumer, enterprise, and frontier technology companies.
- Andreessen Horowitz– a venture capital firm that invests in entrepreneurs of all stages with a focus on the technology sector at the intersection of computer science and life sciences.
- First Round Capital– a seed-stage venture capital firm that invests in technology entrepreneurs and companies.
- Thrive Capital– a venture capital firm with a focus on internet and software investments.
- SVAngel– a venture capital firm with a portfolio based seed investing model focused on early stage companies in the internet software industry.
Although divides still persist, women are out here changing the game and in many ways are transforming their successful businesses to respond to COVID-19 in unique ways. Curious to see how their stories evolve in 2021? Follow Harlem Capital for their next report.