Our thesis is that an unintentional familiarity bias in the venture capital industry creates opportunities for investors willing to back female founders.
the fact is...
Women-led businesses have been largely overlooked by the investment community.
Proportion of US Venture Capital Invested in Women-led Startups
Venture capitalists invested $58.2 billion in companies with all-male founders in 2016. Meanwhile, women received just $1.46 billion in VC money last year, according to data from M&A, private equity, and venture capital database PitchBook. That massive disparity is due both to the differences in the number of deals and the average deal size by gender.
Women-led companies made up 4.94% of all VC deals in 2016—the highest percentage in the past decade. While still a paltry number, it is a noticeable improvement from 10 years ago, when female founders were involved in just 2.95% of deals.
SOURCE: Fortune 2017
The current venture capital and startup ecosystem operates as a perpetual cycle of homogeneity.
SOURCE: Fortune 2017
Merian Ventures carefully cultivates relationships with mission-aligned investors who realize the economic opportunity provided by investing in female entrepreneurs.
By right-sizing our fund, Merian is able to write small enough checks to support startups through their earliest stages, while having a large enough fund size to remain competitive with mainstream VC funds, maintain our pro rata, and go the distance with our growing portfolio companies.
Merian funds diverse teams, which outperform homogeneous startups.
Armed with the knowledge that companies with women on their boards of directors perform better, we bring qualified, vetted, experienced female board members to the table.
Number of Venture Capital Deals by Gender (2006-2016)
Women-led companies represent only a small percentage of venture capital deals. Research shows that an unintentional familiarity bias works against women-led companies in the fundraising process.
SOURCE: PitchBook 2016
The destination of choice for exceptional women building innovative companies.
Women entrepreneurs are responding to Merian’s message
Merian Ventures Pipeline by Sector (2017)
Merian Ventures Pipeline by Region