As noted a few weeks ago, the venture capital space is dominated by men. “According to consultancy Pitchbook, only 11 percent of partners of venture capital firms in the US are women” with only 2.2 percent of US startup investment going to companies created by women. Aspect Ventures is looking to change that by creating a fund that will be more open to female startups. Started in 2014 by venture capitalists Theresia Gouw and Jennifer Fonstad, the company has garnered funding from Melinda Gates as well as other “high-profile supporters” to establish an early stage startup investment fund worth just over $180 million.
The new fund is currently looking “to build on investments such as ForeScout, a security company that went public in October, as well as early bets on companies such as networking startup Cato Networks, design marketplace Crew, security intelligence shop Exabeam and careers site The Muse.” To date, about 40 percent of Aspect Venture’s invested companies include a female cofounder. This is above the industry average. In addition to female cofounders, half of the firm’s investments “include an immigrant or first-generation citizen and about 30 percent a cofounder from a racial minority.”