DSA Summit: ‘Women founders have secured only 2.6% of total venture capital funding’

Panel discussion on ‘Examining the gender funding gap and the VC monoculture’ at DealStreetAsia’s annual flagship Asia Private Equity-Venture Capital 2017

Only 2.6 per cent of the total venture capital funding has gone to women entrepreneurs, according to Sarah Chen, Corporate Investments & Ventures, Sime Darby and co-founder of Asia Women Circle.

Funding to female founders is $1.46 billion compared to a sum of $58.2 billion for male founders, Chen said, addressing a session on ‘Examining the gender funding gap and the VC monoculture’ speaking at Dealstreetasia’s annual flagship Asia Private Equity-Venture Capital 2017 Summit on Friday.

Regarding the number of women at the decision making table in VC firms, she said it has decreased from 10 per cent in 1999 to around 7 per cent in 2017.

“If we don’t change, the number will continue to go down,” she urged.

SoGal Ventures founding partner Pocket Sun opined that women were not getting the access to funding as men did. She sees it as a vicious circle, in which the modest capital for female means little chance to create women-led unicorns, while VCs would not invest because they have not seen such unicorns.

“We should encourage women to ask for the funding that they need,” added Chen.

Meanwhile, Prerna Bhutani, partner at India Quotient, who joined Chen and Sun at the summit, said investors did not judge whether the founder is a man or woman, but if he or she could push the business forward.

“But the number of women entrepreneurs is becoming fewer, and we need to think about why,” she noted.

When it comes to the decision making position in VC firms, the panelists agreed that women need to actively advocate their role.

“We should promote diversity within management,” said Dzuleira Abu Bakar, CEO of Cradle Seed Ventures, the VC arm with 30 per cent female representation on the board.

Also read:

Meet the women leaders who broke the glass ceiling in Asian PE/VC world

No glass ceiling for women in VC/PE, it’s just percieved so: Cradle Seed Ventures CEO Dzuleira

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.