Back in 2004, when Golden Seeds started, only 5% of angel investors were women, according to the Center of Venture Research at the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire.
“Stephanie Newby got this idea that we needed to start a movement to get capital to fund female founders,” said Loretta McCarthy, co-CEO and managing partner at Golden Seeds. Newby founded Golden Seeds. “It [women funding women] has become a movement in many ways.” Since then, many others have been inspired to start angel groups focused on funding female founders.
The percentage of women angels grew to 33.6% in 2021.
According to two reports by the Angel Capital Association, having a growing number of women angel investors is significant.
- Female investors are dramatically more likely to consider the gender of the founders they are considering investing in startups. More than half—51%—of women feel the founders’ gender to be highly important, compared to 6% of male investors, according to The American Angel. While female investors are more likely to admit they consider gender, the reality is men do, too but in a much more subtle way. This shows itself in the type of questions male investors ask female founders compared to male founders. Women are asked about mitigating risk, while men are asked about exploiting growth.
- Over the last 15 years, angel-backed companies with women CEOs have quadrupled from 5% in 2015 to 21% in 2018, according to the 2019 ACA Angel Funders Report.