Only 7pc of partners at global 100 venture capital firms are women

25 Apr 2016

Only 7pc of venture capital firms globally have women partners. Female-founded firms are also getting 17pc of venture and 12pc of seed investments respectively

A study of the top 100 venture firms has found that just 7pc of partners – or 53 of 764 partners – are women, while 38pc of the top 100 firms have at least one female partner.

The Crunchbase Women in Venture report looked at the top 100 venture firms globally and particularly at the women listed as “partners” in those firms, and screened them to see if they were actually partners that had authority to invest funds.

The study excluded many women and men who have a “partner” title but do not invest.

It found that 38pc of the firms have at least one female partner while 28pc have two female partners.

The study indicated that the most rapid advancement route for women in the venture capital business is by joining female-founded funds. When there is a female co-founder, the overall percentage of female partners in the firm soars past the top 100 figure of 7pc.

Of the firms that have two female partners, Sequoia has two partners who are based in China, Canaan Partners has three and Qiming Venture Partners in Shanghai has four. NEA has five female partners, with one based in India.

Floodgate, which has two partners, has a 50/50 male-female partnership.

Two of the firms with the highest percentage of female partners, with 33pc, Scale Venture Partners and Greycroft Partners, were founded by women, as was Floodgate, and these three were the only female co-founded venture firms in the top 100.

Seeding change


The data also revealed that out of 54 active corporate venture arms and 101 accelerators active since 2014, women hold just under 12pc of partner roles.

The study found that between 2010 and 2015, 10pc of the $31.5bn of venture capital dollars invested globally in start-ups went to firms led by female founders.

During the same period, of the $2.35bn invested in seed/angel rounds, only 17pc went to firms led by women.


Interestingly, the data indicated that even though some venture capital firms don’t have female partners, these firms lead the field when it comes to investing in firms led by female founders.

MassChallenge (which has a female managing director in Mexico), SOSV, VTF Capital and Metamorphic Ventures have no female partners but were four of the five highest in terms of percentage of total rounds in start-ups with a female founder.

The five most active seed investors by round  — 500 Startups, Wayra, Startup Chile, Y Combinator and TechStars — each have at least one female investing partner.

SOSV, which has offices in Cork, also featured prominently in the list of seed rounds in female vs male-founded companies, with a minimum of 45 rounds between 2010 and 2015.

Disclosure: SOSV is an investor in

Entrepreneur and investors image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years