- Mark Zanders
Updated: Mar 9, 2021
The views portrayed in this Gender Gap blog post are subject to change at any time based upon market or other conditions and are current as of October 15th, 2020. While all material is deemed to be reliable, accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed.
"Don't be intimidated by what you don't know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else." - Sara Blakely, CEO and Founder of Spanx
It's no secret that women-led companies have had a significantly harder time securing venture-capital funding than their male counterparts. However, women are finally getting the attention for their business savvy that they deserve. At the end of 2019, it has been reported that Women-led businesses are getting more VC funding than ever. Pitchbook data shows women-led companies took in $46.3 billion in capital last year. This amount is more than twice the $22 billion female entrepreneurs got the year before (2018) and more than 15 times the $3 billion awarded to them in 2010.
As part of our investment thesis at AFZA Capital, we are seeking female led companies and we were very impressed with the number of female leaders that we met with during our launch week. From what we witnessed, female entrepreneurs have proved themselves exceptionally effective at noticing market opportunities, adapting to changes, innovating solutions, creating value and keeping costs low. Most importantly, they have demonstrated that they are phenomenal communicators.
Bringing women to the table broadens the awareness of promising ventures. Especially those companies that cater to female customers. It is beyond exciting to see several female-founded startups achieving "unicorn" status. The following three companies all topped 1 Billion-dollar valuations and we believe that this number will significantly increase in the coming years.
Away - Away, is an online and storefront retailer. It is best known as a luggage designer, manufacturer and retailer, and led by founders, Stephanie Korey and Jennifer Rubio.
Rent the Runway - Rent the Runway is an online service that provides designer dress and accessory rentals. It was started by Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss.
The Real Real -The Real Real is an online and brick-and-mortar marketplace for authenticated luxury consignment. Based on the circular economy, The Real Real sells consigned clothing, fine jewelry, watches, fine art and home decor. Founded by Julie Wainwright.
As we touched upon in this article, many efforts are underway to close the gender gap and we look forward to supporting the growing market where we can.