Female and ethnic minority led companies are still underrepresented in VC investments, research revealed
Not every investor wants to disclose how lacking in diversity they are. However, this doesn’t include Forward Partner, the early-stage venture capital firm, who is the first UK VC to reveal the diversity in its portfolio, shining a light on where improvement is needed.
The portfolio revealed that Forward Partner is doing better than most with ten out of its 52 startup investments having at least one female founder and seven being completely female-led. In other words, while only 7% of applications it received were entirely from female-led companies, 14% of Forward's Partner’s investment went to with all women founding teams. Looking at how well-represented ethnic minorities were, the VC firm found that 15 out of 52 companies it injected capital in had at least one ethnic minority founder, meaning 36 startups were led by all white male founders.
Commenting on the research Louise Rix, who conducted the research and is investor at Forward Partners, said: "Closing the diversity gap is a complex problem and it’s not always clear how best to create change. Indeed, there is no apparent silver bullet. What we do know however is that things don’t grow in the dark so by shining a light on the issue we hope to seed meaningful progress.”
With Forward revealing its portfolio diversity there is more clarity on where improvement is needed. Hopefully, this will make more VC’s lift the lid on their investments in the future.