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Companies cofounded by women are getting more funding than ever

A new report from Crunchbase indicates that female-led startups are beginning to close the funding gap with their male counterparts.

Companies cofounded by women are getting more funding than ever
[Photo: Christina @ wocintechchat.com/Unsplash]
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Global startups with a female founder that have received funding doubled over the past five years, according to a new report from Crunchbase. That includes 21 new unicorns (with a valuation over $1 billion) in 2019, the highest ever in a one-year period. They include women-only owned businesses, such as Away, Glossier, Guild Education, Rent the Runway, and The RealReal. Together those 21 startups raised nearly $3 billion last year.

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Ten years ago, only 9% of funding was going to female cofounded companies. Last year, that number was up to 12%. Although an increase of 3 percentage points over a decade is slow, the report found that the amount invested has gone up from $3 billion to $26 billion overall during that time.

The gap is closing particularly among average seed rounds, which in 2010 for female-only founders started at $350,000 and ended at $1.2 million in 2019. For male-only founders, the average was $650,000 in 2010 and $1.35 million in 2019.

Of course, these numbers pale in comparison to funding for businesses founded by men. Startups with male founders saw funding go from $31 billion in 2010 to $195 billion in 2019. Women cofounding businesses with men have fared better. Mixed-gender founding teams raised 2,300 rounds of funding while women-only businesses raised 1,100 funding rounds in 2019.

About the author

Lydia Dishman is a reporter writing about the intersection of tech, leadership, and innovation. She is a regular contributor to Fast Company and has written for CBS Moneywatch, Fortune, The Guardian, Popular Science, and the New York Times, among others.

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