Anu Duggal, founding partner of Female Founders Fund
The VC industry has had to adapt to a new reality since hit like every other sector. No longer friendly conferences at Blue Bottle Coffee or in-person networking at demo times вЂ” VCs now just just take their pitches (and coffees) more than a safely-distanced zoom call. Feminine founders, nonetheless, suffer from this new powerful. PitchBook recently published a questionnaire saying that VC funding for female founders has dropped up to a three-year low. Organizations spent a complete of $434 million in Q3, the figure that is lowest considering that the 2nd quarter of 2017, relating to PitchBook information. The third quarter total additionally amounts to a 48% fall in financing from Q2, whenever feminine founders received $841 million across 132 discounts.
Happily, you can find VC companies that concentrate solely on feminine founders, a typical example of that is Female Founders Fund (FFF). Launched in 2014, the NYC-based company has raised two funds up to now (Fund I: $6 million and Fund II: $25 million) and matters 40+ organizations in its profile, including Billie, Co-Star, Kama, Lex, Maven, Peanut, Real, lease The Runway and Zola.
Data through the FFF web site
Female Founders Fund
Although FFF is renowned for buying tech-enabled platforms that facilitate digital connections, the lovers choose to relate with prospective founders in true to life (IRL).
вЂњonce you meet someone in true to life, you are able to choose through to body gestures and thereвЂ™s another variety of types of energy,вЂќ FFF partner that is founding Duggal explained in an interview. вЂњAt this very very early stage, weвЂ™re investing in people, so the biggest thing for all of us is spending some time because of the founder(s).вЂќ
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Since March nonetheless, the company has received adjust fully to a set-up that is new it comes to fulfilling and reaching founders.
вЂњAt the start of the 12 months, buying founders we hadnвЂ™t met yet wasnвЂ™t one thing we’d conceived,вЂќ Duggal added. вЂњBut you will find methods for getting comfortable. Whenever we canвЂ™t meet up with the individual IRL, then we’re doubling straight down on information and references.вЂќ
One deal Duggal shut throughout the lockdown is Lex, a text-based app that is social queer, non-binary and trans communities. Duggal says she ended up being linked to Lex through Ally Tam, who’s a partner at VMG Partners (which will not spend during the seed phase). Other investors that joined up with in alongside FFF include PeanutвЂ™s Michelle Kennedy plus the Bumble Fund.
вЂњWeвЂ™ve committed to a few social apps, including Peanut, Co-Star and Shine,вЂќ said Duggal, вЂњso we now have a good knowledge of exactly what early successful metrics appear to be. But we didnвЂ™t necessarily understand the Lex that is demographic is, beyond the reality that 33% of Gen Z identifies as queer. So we relied on recommendations from Peanut, Bumble and another of our group mates that is LGBTQ. She shared a study with folks for the reason that community, that has been extremely valuable to comprehend just exactly exactly how users and users that are potential the working platform.вЂќ
Through her application, Lex founder Kell Rakowski is reframing the experience that is dating a visual-based to a text-based experience, bringing right back old-school individual adverts to social media marketing. The present form of Lex has zero pictures with no swiping, which can be a change that is refreshing the other dating apps nowadays.
вЂњLex is made for all of us, by us вЂ“ the queer community,вЂќ Rakowski published if you ask me in a contact. вЂњBecause all of us is 100% queer (LGBTQIA+), we work closely because of the community to create the most important thing in their mind. At Lex, queer identities aren’t an afterthought therefore we do not build in a binary sex system (cis-man, cis-woman) that mainstream dating apps embrace. Lex is less about sex and much more about sex identification.вЂќ
The startup that is NYC-based shut its seed round of $1.5 million, that has been led by FFF.
вЂњI started increasing in February and shut in belated June,вЂќ Rakowski penned. вЂњ started simply I was in NYC in lockdown mode, so approximately 95% of the meetings were on the phone or over video as I started the process and. Our pitch is: Lex joined the marketplace as being a dating application, sufficient reason for capital, can be a queer social networking.вЂќ
Others in FFFвЂ™s portfolio which have additionally effectively raised through the lockdown include Maven, the clinic that is virtual ladies and families, which raised a $45 million Series C in March, and Peanut, the application that connects ladies across motherhood and fertility, which shut a $12 million Series the in might.
Though some of those startups have actually slowly added tools and features to adjust to the pandemic, other people, like Real, have experienced to pivot. The health that is mental for millennial ladies had been prepared to start its very very first real location for treatment in April into the Flatiron region of NYC. In light of this lockdown, nevertheless, the group made a decision to pivot up to a salon that is digital therapist-led talks around particular subjects, including terminated weddings, co-parenting and heightened stress amounts.