Female Founders has announced the launch of its F Fund, developed to support pre-seed and seed start-ups with at least one woman on the founding team.
The first close of the VC fund oversubscribed at over €12 million with two ‘anchor’ investors Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH with their Venture Capital Initiative and the Austrian bank Raiffeisen Landesbank Steiermark. One third of the fund was backed by female investors, while Hansi Hansmann of the Hanswomen Group, the founders of Runtastic and Busuu and a Fund of Funds investment from Speedinvest are also included in the line-up.
The fund will invest in industries such as ClimateTech, HealthTech, FemTech, FinTech and HR Tech - pre-seed and seed start-ups with gender-diverse founding teams.
The launch of the fund means a re-shuffle of roles at Females Founders. Lisa-Marie Fassl and Nina Wöss, the creators of Female Founders, will head up the F Fund leaving room for Carina Klaffl, previously Head of the company’s start-up accelerator Grow F, and Amelia Suda, previously Head of Talent at Female Founders, to step into the co-CEO roles at Female Founders.
“Over the last six years building Female Founders, we have had touch points with hundreds of tech entrepreneurs from all over the continent. By working with them and supporting them in their fundraising efforts we have come to the conclusion that more diversity is needed on both sides - founders and investors. Money talks, and the people deciding where investments are being allocated need to be diverse as well,” says Lisa-Marie Fassl, GP at Fund F.
Female Founders will continue to drive gender diversity in European tech and innovation with its community of over 60 thousand founders, investors, operators, business professionals and entrepreneurial leaders.
“In 2021 1.1% of all VC funding in Europe went to female-only led start-ups only just 8% went to mixed gendered teams. While the reasons for that are varied, we know one thing that is not a contributing factor - it’s not about the quality and quantity of the deal flow available in the early-stage segment,” said Nina Woess, GP at Fund F.
“In order to tackle the many world crises, we are currently facing, technological solutions need to be built by everyone, for everyone. Investing in a much more diverse group of founders is the only way for this to happen,” she adds.
Last week Tech.eu reported on the Unconventional Ventures report showing the dire straits of investment in female founders in parts of Europe.
“It’s hard to be unaware of the huge gender gap in all aspects of this space, and now is the time to act. The European VC ecosystem urgently needs players like Fund F. They are in a unique position when it comes to accessing gender-diverse deal flow in Europe. The team behind the fund has proven their ability to identify and attract the best founders, building trust and offering hands-on support,” said Oliver Holle, CEO & Managing Partner at Speedinvest.