International Women’s Day: startups, VC and closing the gender gap

From the gender funding gap and Ukrainian women startup founders, to fintech products tackling financial inequality, and healthtechs leading the femtech revolution, this International Women’s Day we dived into some of the tech industry’s challenges and solutions for women in tech and innovation.

The gender funding gap

All-women founding teams have secured just 0.4% of European venture capital so far 2022, with mixed-gender founding teams raising a further 15.2% of capital. Comparatively, in 2021, all-women founding teams raised 1.1% of capital, and mixed teams 8.8%.

The lack of investment into female-founded startups is a missed economic opportunity. Research by First Round Capital and Boston Consulting Group has previously found that founder teams with women are more likely to exit and have a higher internal rate of return (IRR) — 112% versus 48%. Women founders hire 2.5x more women into their teams, in an industry that struggles with diverse hiring.

Explore other women-founded startups in our International Women’s Day Impact briefing.

Closing the gender gap in finance

Finance has a huge gender gap to fill as female-founded fintech raised less than 2% of VC funding in 2021, which some believe a lack of education and confidence is correlated to poor engagement for women in finance.

What are the main barriers holding women back? Women are statistically recorded as less confident and informed about money compared to their male counterparts, particularly around long-term financial decisions such as investment, retirement, and savings plans. In the EU for instance, the gender pay gap is around 14%, but the gender pension gap is even higher at 29%.

Discover startups closing the gender gap in finance in our Fintech briefing.

Women and online marketplaces

While progress has been made to invest more into tech workspaces created by cis-women, trans, and non-binary founders, female-identifying led startups lack funding compared to their male-led counterparts.

In 2021, 87% of angel funding was invested into startups solely composed of male founders. And gender inequality isn’t limited to funding, women across different startup sectors reported poorer experiences with investors and 63% felt a lack of equal opportunities compared to those afforded to male founders.

Learn which marketplaces are working with female-identifying founders and customers in our Marketplaces briefing.

The women of foodtech serving up success

There are 1,600+ foodtech startups globally that are founded or co-founded by women. In 2021, VC investment in all-female founding teams grew 1.6x, to $1.8 billion.

This may account for just 4.3% of total VC investment into foodtech, but much higher than levels among overall startup investment, where the figure stands at ~1%. Although the share of VC investment remain in low single digits, women foodtech leaders are building innovative solutions in many categories, including farm management, robotics, grocery delivery, restaurant tech and more.

Read up on which women foodtech leaders are building innovative solutions in Dealroom’s Foodtech briefing.

The Femtech revolution

The Femtech sector is developing fast with impressive potential as founders are normalizing taboo topics. There is more innovation around menopause tech, pelvic health care, chronic disease management, sexual wellness and education, and urinary care. The global Femtech market size is estimated to reach around $75B by 2026, growing at a 13.3% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), according to research published by Arizton Advisory & Intelligence.

Today, the global Femtech market is represented by 500+ startups and scaleups founded after 1990, while in 2010 there were only 69 startups. Check out our in-depth analysis of the Femtech ecosystem in our Health briefing.

Discover all the Dealroom briefings, and subscribe for regular weekly updates direct to your inbox, where we cover how startups and innovation are shaping the future of our societies and economies.

Ukrainian women founders

International Women’s Day this year of course happened under the heartbreaking backdrop of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

So this year we wanted to shine a spotlight on the Ukrainian women startup founders, their innovative startups, and how they’re bringing their unique skills and entrepreneurialism to the fight for freedom and sovereignty in Ukraine. 🇺🇦

Read more about the Ukrainian women founders to follow in 2022 (and beyond 💪).