Female-focused investment funds combat tech’s gender bias

Women-led startups only receive 2% of venture capital funding, a stat that highlights the broader issue around gender disparity in Silicon Valley. Female-led and female-focused startups have long struggled to be taken seriously by the Valley’s mostly male venture capitalists, but recently the rise in female-focused—and founded—funds points to a shift in investment behavior that combats this discriminatory bias.


Buzzy dating app Bumble, which puts the power in women’s hands when it comes to making the first move on its mobile matchmaking platform, just announced in August that it’s launching a fund with the sole intention of investing in female-led businesses. Bumble Fund, which the company has already put $1 million into, will invest in startups that are not only female-focused, but those with female founders from diverse backgrounds. It’s worth noting that Bumble itself is a startup—one that’s less than four years old, at that—and its commitment to smoothing the path for similar companies is an admirable one within the notoriously cutthroat startup world. 


While there are a number of major companies who have appointed history-making female CEOs in the past year, Highline BETA’s COO admits that more women are needed, and especially in the area of investing. That’s why the startup co-creation and venture development company recently announced the relaunch of Female Funders, which Highline BETA originally acquired in 2017. The program is now called Female Funders Angel Academy and its sole focus is helping women pursue angel investing, which involves a single individual providing capital upfront for business startups in exchange for equity. 


New York-based early-stage fund Female Founders Fund, or F3, created a new Venture Partner Program where established female startup founders officially support and mentor female founders who are working to bring their vision to life. Program participants not only gain exposure but are also able to access a wider network of professionals in the startup arena who can facilitate participants’ goals. F3, along with the previous examples, represents the latest iteration of breaking up the old boys network by expanding on the concept of carving out female-specific spaces to conduct business.