Funding for woman isn’t budging despite all the attention paid to it. In 2021, companies founded solely by women garnered 2.4% of the total capital invested in venture-backed startups in the US, according to the Pitchbook. The data firm recently launched a dashboard to track the universe of early-stage investing among women.
The issue may be that despite increases in the number of investments and the number of women investors, the sums remain much smaller on average and are statistically dwarfed by hundred-million amounts going into male-led startups.
Here’s one women-led VC firm that focuses on women-led firms. Chloe Capital is crafting a model out of investment-focused events, mostly in second-tier cities. They draw hundreds of attendees and in turn help it pinpoint “superstars,” as partner Myneco Ramirez said.
Name: Chloe Capital
Location: Ithaca, N.Y.
Size: The firm has raised $10 million of its $25 million first fund. Bank of America has just become an LP, joining two other institutional investors, Impact Assets and ECMC Group.
What it is: Chloe Capital is a seed-stage venture firm formed in 2017 by serial entrepreneurs and long-time local investors in Upstate New York. The firm invests in women-led, tech and tech-enabled companies, including many that have a software-as-service model. It also partners with universities, foundations and corporations to host programs that help create more fundraising opportunities for underrepresented founders. Chloe used SPVs to get off the ground and still does an invest-in-women tour to cities around the country.
Leadership: Partners Elisa Miller-Out, Erica O’Brian and Myneco Ramirez. Miller-Out, a serial entrepreneur, and O’Brian were the CEO and a top executive, respectively at software firm Singlebrook Technologies in Ithaca, N.Y. Ramirez is a serial entrepreneur and events planner. All three were long-time entrepreneurship activists. Venture capitalist Kathryn Cartini was another co-founder.
Track record: With 25 portfolio companies, Chloe has seen four M&A transactions. Portfolio company Basepaws, an animal genetics company, was acquired by Zoetis. Among other investments of note: VNTANA, which makes 3D Content management software, and ShearShare, a platform that enables barbers and stylists to rent space in salons and barbershops.
Quote: “The firm was founded when the co-founders overheard a few men saying that women don’t get backed because they don’t start venture-backable companies,” said Ramirez. “We are able to find talent and superstars ourselves.”