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The undervalued assets of women investors in VC

Opdateret: 17. okt. 2023

Picture: Angella Invest investor event at TechBBQ 2023. From the left: Kinga Stanislawska (European Women in VC), Nora Bavey (Unconventional Ventures), Bettine Schmitz (Auxxo Capital) and Helga Valfells (Crowberry Capital).


"Women investors on the rise in Europe": this was the title of the event that Angella Invest hosted at TechBBQ 2023, which is the largest startup & investor conference of the year in Scandinavia. While this title may lead to the misconception that all is good when it comes to gender balance in the startup investor ecosystem, this is far from true. Here are some quick facts:

  • A combined desk and research survey of 558 European VC firms and 104 European VC survey respondents showed that in 2023 only 16% of general partners (GPs) are women, compared to 15% in 2022.

  • In terms of actual investment power (firepower or assets under management, AUM), women GPs have less investment power, raising only 9% of total AUM, compared with 91% of AUM raised by male GPs. This data shows how women GPs still do not raise large funds, and their presence in the investment teams of the largest European VC and growth funds continues to be limited. The firepower of women needs to grow.

  • In the Nordic region, funds with only men as GPs account for 77% of the amount of funds and manage 84% of capital. While funds with all-women GPs account for 6% of the amount of funds, managing only 1% of the capital.

  • Data also shows the gender imbalance in mixed GP teams. A survey from European Women in VC found that people of the GP title, 91% of men General Partners had access to carried interest ("performance fee" payments to the VC fund), compared to only 70% of women General Partners. This indicates that there a significant number more women than men, who are GPs by title only without actual ownership of the fund management company or rigths to carried interest, i.e. "gender washing" the fund.

(Source: European Women in VC & the Nordic Funding Report)

So why did we choose this title then? We did this because we see a rise of women investors in Europe developing data, creating communities and backing each other! We see women investors taking action and starting their own investment funds.

In the picture above we see four amazing role models who were on the panel of the workshop, which Angella Invest facilitated (from the left); Kinga Stanislawska (European Women in VC and Experior VC), Nora Bavey (Unconventional Ventures), Bettine Schmitz (Auxxo Capital) and Helga Valfells (Crowberry Capital). These four women have made a huge contribution to the European startup investor ecosystem. Not only have they started their own venture funds with a focus on (amongst other) diverse teams and women founders, but they have also contributed to the ecosystem with initiatives such as European Women in VC, the Female Business Angel Podcast and the Nordic Funding Report.

They have done this because they want to make a difference. But they have also done this because it is a good business opportunity! They are adressing an underserved market - women. Which, by the way, is half the world's population so there are plenty of opportunities here 😉 At Angella Invest, we often refer to it as a "blue ocean" market.

In the below we will list some findings of women investors in VC and how they contribute to better financial performance.

While the data is referred to women in venture capital, we believe the picture to be similar for women angel investors. Data on women angel investors is still very limited. At Angella Invest, we hope to be able to change this.


Not only is women investors in VC a good business, but women VC investors also positively contribute to changing the gender imbalance in the startup ecosystem. Here are some facts:

  • Women investors are 2x-3x more likely to invest in female-led startups than male investors.

  • The financial performance of European VC funds increases with higher representation of women in senior management teams. VC funds managed by mixed teams also show a higher annual internal rate of return (IRR). Management teams mostly composed of women outperform men-only teams by 9.3 percentage points.

  • On average, each 10 percentage point increase in representation of women is associated with a 1.3 percentage points increase in IRR of a VC fund.

  • The higher the proportion of women in European VC senior management teams, the lower the volatility of the returns of the fund portfolios they manage

The above are extracts from the most recent publication of European Women in VC "Female GPs and Senior Managers are an undervalued asset in European Venture Capital Firms", 2023.

If you want to learn more about European Women in VC and read their reports in full, have a look here.


We hope you got inspired to learn more, develop and take action. Perhaps include more women investors in your fund, in your startup or perhaps even start your own fund 😉

Because women investors is good business AND good for society!

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