“Tracking Venture Capital with a Gender Lens”

Wharton Social Impact Initiative

Wharton Social Impact Initiative just published its report called “Tracking venture capital with a gender lens“.  This report provides an overview of the landscape analysis they conducted on private equity funds with a gender lens. It aims to provide a “point in time” capture of the expanding gender lens investing opportunities globally.

Key findings in the report include:

  • The 58 funds included total almost $2B in targeted fund size. Of that $2B, over $1.3B has been raised and is in deployment. Most of the funds launched in the last two years.

  • The size of capital in the funds, investment stages, the ticket sizes into ventures, and even the structures themselves, vary substantially. We also found some disparities in the way fund managers speak about gender and define their “gender lenses”.

  • Geographically, the funds were overwhelmingly located in and focused on North America. Only a few are in Europe. And as it stands, only a dozen funds in Project Sage are based in or focused on emerging markets.

  • Tech and health-focused companies dominated fund portfolios, followed by companies with a positive environmental impact.

  • The percentage of women in fund management, and on investment committees, is a bright spot compared to the rest of the venture industry, where the percentage of women in these roles is small. Yet it’s worth noting the inverse correlation between fund size and the proportion of women fund partners or investment committee members: the more women at the top, the less capital raised.