Gender-inclusive startup founding teams raise more funding: report

Startups with at least one woman founder tend to raise more investment funds than founder teams made up of only men, according to a new analysis by the Kauffman Fellows Research Center. The center compiled data from over 90,000 venture-backed startups in the U.S.

Although there is still a severe disparity between genders in startups, that gap has narrowed. In 2001, the percentage of startups with at least one woman on the founding team was only 4.3%; by 2018, it was up to 21.6%.

“This is progress,” Tammi Jantzen, co-founder and CFO of health care startup Astarte Medical, said in the report. “But given that this is over a 17-year period and we are very far from parity, we have a long way to go.”

The report also examined some 400,000 employees, and only 15% percent were women.

Despite the persistent majority of men in startup leadership and staff, companies with women in leadership roles consistently raised more investment than companies with all men founders, according to the report.

For companies with founding teams that had at least one woman, median investment dollars raised was about equal to that of all-men teams in the seed round, Series A and Series B stages. However, once they reached Series C and Series D, founding teams with women were raising about $5 million more on average than their all-male counterparts.

This increase was even larger with companies who had women in C-level positions. By Series D, companies with at least one woman in the C-suite were raising $8 million more than all-men startups.

The report said a possible cause for the advantage was that a more diverse team saw more business opportunities because of their various perspectives.

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