Female Ventures Fund to invest £10m in women-only start-ups in first year

New venture capital fund led by and for women will address inequality of just 1% of VC money going to women-only start-ups

 businesswomen giving each other a high five, Female Ventures Fund concept

High five: Female Ventures Fund aims to address historic inequalities when it comes to VC funding

Female Ventures Fund aims to invest £10m in female founders and women-led start-ups over the coming 12 months.

The Seed Enterprise Investment Fund, which launched this morning, wants to address the historical inequality that only 1 per cent of venture capital money goes to women-only start-ups, while men-only start-ups get 89 per cent.

The Female Ventures Fund is housed inside Innvotec, the London-based fund management firm which already has 25 per cent of its portfolio dedicated to female-led companies, more than double the industry average of 12 per cent.

>See also: Venture capital has £8.4bn ready to invest in fast-growth businesses

The fund also wants to have more women investing in the start-up world.

So far, FVF already has 35 portfolio companies signed up taken from Innvotec’s main portfolio, including a cancer research firm building technology for radiotherapy drugs, a company building smart home tools to tackle fuel poverty, a sustainable fashion brand marketplace, and a green technology firm monitoring shipping fuel emissions.

The fund plans to stay invested for anything between 10-12 years, as growth companies go through successive funding rounds.

>See also: How to get £150,000 invested in your London tech start-up

Lesley Gregory, chairwoman of law firm Memery Crystal, will lead the advisory board. Gregory specialises in advising growth companies on alternative forms of raising finance and is one of only two lawyers – and the only woman – to be ranked by Chambers as an eminent practitioner for small companies listed on the AIM stock exchange. She was previously an advisory board member entrepreneur/investor community E2E Exchange and founded Memery Crystal’s female entrepreneurs’ Women In Business network.

Gregory said: “I come across a wide range of female entrepreneurs who have solid business models and yet don’t receive the funding they need. We want to change that. The FVF model will provide, not only funding, but also, support in critical drivers of VC success – networking, negotiation, business planning and mentoring.

Further reading

SFC to invest £40m in 100 early stage businesses

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