REPORT: Only 5.7% of Dutch VCs put their money in startups with a female co-founder

REPORT: Only 5.7% of Dutch VCs put their money in startups with a female co-founder

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Gender diversity within the Dutch CV and startup sector is in a poor state. According to the Gender Diversity Report presented today by TechLeap.NL (formerly StartupDelta), between 2008 and 2019, only 5.7% of Dutch VCs put their money into startups with a female co-founder. The rest went to male-only startups. Also, teams with female founders collect less per round on average than their male colleagues: 200,000 euros versus 600,000 euros.

For this study, 1650 Dutch startups and scale-ups and 313 VCs active in the Netherlands were examined. This also shows that the partner and foundation teams of VCs and startups themselves are not very gender diverse. For example, 87% of the VCs established in the Netherlands do not employ a single female investor. Of the startups, 17% have a female co-founder; 83% of the startups have only male founders. And this while international studies show that various teams perform better.

The new figures confirm the image of male dominance in the tech sector that was previously shown in research by investors Eva de Mol and Janneke Niessen. They showed in 2018 that only 1.6% of the capital invested in startups went to women-led companies and 6.8% to mixed teams.


The entire research will be launched today together with the bid book #It’s time to #FundRight during the #FundRight event Match Made in Heaven by Constantijn van Oranje, Special Envoy of TechLeap.NL. With #FundRight, a large group of concerned and committed investors have taken the initiative to ensure equal access to funding and opportunities for all founders, regardless of their background or gender. To achieve this, the VCs want them and the management teams of their current and future portfolio companies to have a 35% female workforce. Since the launch of #FundRight in July, more than 30 venture capital funds – with more than €1 billion under management – have committed themselves to this objective.

Janneke Niessen, Co-founder CapitalT and #FundRight’s co-founder: “This study once again demonstrates the need for a more diverse start-up ecosystem. And this is precisely why it is so encouraging that more and more VCs are joining #FundRight and are also going to visit this event. We are now building the future with a too small homogeneous group and therefore not only are we missing out on a lot of opportunities, but also a lot of potential remains unexploited.”

Constantijn van Oranje, Special Envoy TechLeap.NL: “These figures show how important it is that 31 progressive investors have decided to work together and set up #Fundright. This is primarily about giving women entrepreneurs fairer opportunities, but above all about improving their performance. Mixed teams are more successful than mono teams and VCs, and startups that embrace diversity make themselves more versatile, resilient and stronger.

Tamara Obradov, partner at Tablomonto Venture Capital and co-founder of #FundRight: “We’ve been working on diversity for years. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to get more women to the top organically. That’s why it’s great to see that with #FundRight, investors themselves are getting up to bring about the change from the inside out.”

Match made in heaven

During the event this afternoon at Hotel Arena in Amsterdam, speakers such as Nishi Somaiya, head of European Private Capital, Goldman Sachs and Bercan Gunel, leadership consultant and diversity expert, will give their views on how the Netherlands can bridge the gender gap and what challenges there are. To show the potential of various teams, 200 promising Dutch startups with at least one female founder are highlighted in the bid book. The official opening will be held at 16.30 hours by Constantijn van Oranje, Special Envoy TechLeap.NL.

Main image picture credit: fizkes/Shutterstock

Stay tuned to Silicon Canals for more European technology news.

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