The recent spate of sexual harassment allegations have put the focus squarely on diversity, or the lack thereof, in the venture capital world. The gender imbalance is visible on both sides of the negotiating table. About 94 per cent of VC partners are men and 97.7 per cent of VC-backed companies have male CEOs.
A recent study published by Harvard Business Review showed that the large gender gap in venture capital funding could partly be explained by the difference in questions VCs pose to male and female entrepreneurs. The study found male entrepreneurs were typically asked by VCs about growth while their female counterparts fielded queries focused on risk, contributing to gender disparity in funding.
At the Asia PE-VC Summit 2017, we ask leading women of Southeast Asia’s investment ecosystem to take on these questions and more:
— How difficult is it for women-founded and women-led VCs to raise funds from LPs?
— There is a clear funding gap when it comes to backing female entrepreneurs. Are women-led VCs the only answer?
— Data shows diversity in management is good for business performance. If it makes good business sense, why is the “men’s club” still alive and kicking?
— Would the recent spate of allegations of sexual harassment change anything? Could these have a counter effect on female founders too?
It is going to be a thought provoking discussion that you won’t want to miss.
Meet our panelists:
Dzuleira Abu Bakar
CEO, Cradle Seed Ventures
Dzuleira has expertise in venture capital and private equity investment, corporate finance, legal, deal structuring and stakeholder management. Prior to joining Cradle Seed Ventures, she was vice president of investment at Malaysia Venture Capital Management Bhd, where she was responsible for identifying and investing in high growth technology and digital companies, as well as managed strategic partnerships, corporate relations, and stakeholder management for the firm.
Founding Partner, SoGal Ventures (Moderator)
SoGal Ventures is the world’s first millennial venture capital firm to invest in early-stage companies in the US and Asia. The firm has invested in 30 startups in consumer technology, digital healthcare, and enterprise software. Pocket is also the founder of SoGal, one of the largest global entrepreneurship and venture capital networks for women, with 10 chapters worldwide.
At 24, she became one of the youngest people to feature on the cover of Forbes Magazine. She has also been featured in Forbes 30 Under 30, BBC World News, LinkedIn Top Voices, Prestige 40 Under 40, The Straits Times, Business Times and DBS ‘Asian Unstoppables’.
Head of Portfolio Management, 500 Startups, Durians (SEA)
Becky Kux heads Portfolio Management for 500 Durians, the Southeast Asian-focused fund of 500 Startups, Silicon Valley’s most active seed venture capital firm.
She is the touchpoint for regional portfolio companies throughout their lifecycle with the fund, bringing them 500 Startups’ vast global network as a value-add. The partnerships, community programs, and meaningful connections as a result help companies reach their full potential.
Sarah is focused on spurring further growth via external ventures and investments at Sime Darby, one of Asia’s largest conglomerates with a market cap of $13 billion. Earlier, she spearheaded the roll out of a new corporate venture capital unit in the company that invested in precommercial companies in the biotechnology space
She also co-founded Asia Women Circle that drives @leaninmalaysia, a platform which harnesses the power of community to embolden women to achieve their full potential. In 2016, Sarah was appointed by Sheryl Sandberg (COO, Facebook) as Regional Leader, championing Lean In Asia with a reach beyond 300,000.
Partner, India Quotient
Prerna has been a serial entrepreneur, and a part of the startup ecosystem for the last 7 years. She was a Young Leader Program candidate at Aditya Birla Group, which she joined post her MBA. The urge to do something of her own led her to launch her first entrepreneurial venture, India’s first hyperlocal services company One Call India, which helped people manage home services online.
Post that, she became a co-founder at Red Quanta, India’s leading mystery shopping app, providing retail intelligence to brands & helping them increase customer satisfaction.