At top VC firms, more women partners doesn't mean more women funded

    By: Clair Fuller on Jun 12, 2017

    Sarah McBride writes, "Raising her first major funding round for her then three-year-old shipping and data company last year, Shippo Chief Executive Officer Laura Behrens Wu came to an uncomfortable realization: pitching any of Silicon Valley’s rare female venture capitalists gave her more anxiety than pitching men.

    'They do harder due diligence, making sure they’re not going to embarrass themselves,” Behrens Wu recalled. “Maybe they have a chip on their shoulders?' she asked. 'I empathize with women VCs, in an environment where they’re constantly trying to prove themselves.'

    She ended up raising her $7 million round from investors like Albert Wenger at Union Square Ventures and Jeff Clavier at SoftTech VC. While she has some money from women investors, it was at the earlier 'seed' stage, where people typically invest a few thousand dollars with minimal commitment.

    Observers who lament the lack of women at Silicon Valley startups have placed much of the blame on male venture capitalists, who mostly back companies started by other men. If more women worked as venture capitalists, the logic goes, they would encourage and invest in more women-founded companies.

    A new Bloomberg analysis shows this isn't necessarily true, at least at 17 top venture firms. Those with senior women partners backed companies founded or co-founded by women at roughly the same rate as firms with no senior women partners."


    Released: June 12, 2017, 10:02 am | Updated: June 12, 2017, 11:44 am
    Keywords: NAWL News

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