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5 female-founded venture capital funds to know ' and the popular women-led startups they've invested in

Published by Business Insider on Fri, 15 Mar 2019

Insider Pickswrites about products and services to help you navigate when shopping online. Insider Inc. receives a commission from our affiliate partners when you buy through our links, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.More and more women are becoming entrepreneurs, but the venture capital world is still overwhelmingly dominated by men.Just about 9% of VC investors are women, all of whom are working hard to diversify the startup world and bring great ideas to the forefront.To celebrate Women's History Month, we're taking a look at five inspiring female-led VC funds and the women-led startups they're backing like Billie, Parachute, Reformation, and more.The faces of entrepreneurship are changing. In 2017, there were 114% more women-owned businesses than 20 years prior. Between 2016 and 2018, the number of black-women-led startups doubled. Data from Lance Surety Bonds found that immigrants are almost twice as likely to start their own business as are their US-born counterparts.All of this makes sense. Diversity matters in the workplace, and not just for the reasons we already know, like having a greater pool of lived experiences to build from. According to McKinsey, businesses with diverse workforces typically perform better financially, too.Still, the venture capital (VC) world is overwhelmingly male-dominated. According to a recent study by Axios, women account for just about 9% of investors across U.S. venture capital firms. And, while female entrepreneurship is growing at a rapid rate, women are still not getting as much VC funding as their male counterparts. A BCG study found that while enterprises founded by women were given about half the investment as those founded by men, the female-founded companies generated double the amount of revenue than their male equivalents.The gender investment gap is real, but it's clear that female entrepreneurs are still succeeding despite this. The good newsfor investors and entrepreneurs alikeis there are plenty of women out there making it their job to get great female-founded businesses the funding they deserve. March is Women's History Month, so it feels particularly fitting to celebrate the intelligent women making waves in the VC industry.Keep reading to learn more about five female-founded VC firms and the cool startups they've invested in:Halogen VenturesFounded by Jesse Draper, this LA-based fund invests in early-stage, female-founded consumer technologies. Beyond providing funding, mentorship and strategic networking are an important aspect of the Halogen experience. The VC fund has an impressive portfolio, boasting multi-million dollar candy empire, Sugarfina, as well as The Sill, a direct-to-consumer plant seller that's reinventing gardening for millennials by delivering easy-care plants right to your door. Halogen has also invested in women's luxury activewear destination Carbon38, and Senreve, a handbag brand that makes functional, luxury purses for women, along with many other unique e-commerce and technology platforms.Read our reviews about:SugarfinaThe SillSenreveBrilliant VenturesFounders Kara Weber and Lizzie Francis believe that diversitywhether it be of gender, race, or beliefsis the backbone of a successful business. That's why they started Brilliant Ventures, an LA-based fund that invests capital (and time, experience, and ideas) into diverse founders ripe to become industry disruptors. In their portfolio you can find popular direct-to-consumer brands like Parachute, a brand that makes high-quality home essentials at accessible prices, and Tamara Mellon, a brand from the co-founder of Jimmy Choo that's redefining luxury by offering high-quality, trendy footwear at direct-to-consumer prices.Read our reviews about:ParachuteForerunner VenturesYou've probably heard of a lot of the brands that early stage venture capital firm Forerunner Ventures has invested in. This San Francisco-based fun was founded by Kirsten Green, and is made up of a team that is majority women. The fund is focused on investing in industry disruptors, including companies with business-to-business and business-to-consumer offerings. Their portfolio includes the likes of sneakerhead destination Stadium Goods, men's health and preventative care startup Hims, sustainable women's fashion brand Reformation, and the modern travel favorite Away.Read our reviews about:HimsAwayReformationSee the rest of the story at Business Insider
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