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Alternative Market Briefing

Female representation in venture capital fundraising space up

Friday, February 28, 2020

Laxman Pai, Opalesque Asia:

Demand and awareness for female representation in venture capital is increasing each year, revealed Preqin.

In 2019, women-owned firms in the US closed 41 funds for just under $3bn in aggregate, which compares with a total of $49bn raised across all venture capital firms.

Although the gap is still large, capital raised by female venture capitalists is at its highest level in the past 10 years; back in 2010, women-owned firms closed five funds for a combined $535mn.

"Given the rising demand for female representation in venture capital, we should expect these figures to continue to grow as the industry tries to bridge the gender gap in the 2020s," Preqin said.

Among the 10 largest women-owned venture capital firms in the US, .406 Ventures has jumped up the rankings since our last study in Q3 2019.

Founded in 2005, the firm makes early-stage technology and digital health investments in North America and moved from 10th place to fifth after closing its fourth flagship fund on $294mn.

.406 Ventures Fund IV reached a final close in November having surpassed its target of $225mn, attracting capital from both existing and new investors.

Founders Fund enter the list of the largest venture capital fund managers in the US

Q4 2019 welcomed a new entrant to the list of the largest venture capital fund managers in the US.

Founders Fund, established in 2005 by Peter Thiel, focuses on early-stage technology companies. The firm closed two funds in 2019, one at and one above target size.

Founders Fund VII, from its flagship series, held its final close in November at around $1.5bn; this brought the firm to $4.7bn in total venture capital funds raised in the past 10 years, tied for 10th in the US.

Sequoia Capital currently holds the most dry powder ($3.8bn) of all US-based venture capital firms as of January 2020, albeit with a lower figure compared to last quarter ($4.5bn).

The California-based firm is currently raising Sequoia Capital China Principals Seed Fund I, which targets seed-stage investments in Chinese companies. Just two of the 10 largest US-based managers by dry powder are located outside California.

US-based managers raised a total of $112bn for early-stage investment in 2019. Early-stage funds accounted for 48% of the $346bn raised in the year, while seed-stage funds represented only 4% of capital.

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