New York-based Female Founders Fund closed on Fund III of $57 million to bring its total money under management to $95 million. The firm raised its first fund of $5 million in 2014. Its limited partners in the new fund include Goldman Sachs, Cambridge Associates, Pivotal Ventures (founded by Melinda French Gates), Twitter, Plexo Capital and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, along with notable CEOs Anne Wojcicki, Susan Wojcicki, and Sima Sistani.
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We spoke with founder and partner Anu Duggal, who acknowledged that “from a strategy perspective we’re remaining pretty consistent to fund one and two,” with the “focus on seed as an asset class.” The firm invests in female-founded companies and has 70 percent of its portfolio from fund III founded by a BIPOC, according to its most recent announcement.
With this larger fund, the firm plans to invest more dollars per deal — $750,000 to $1 million — and will increase its ownership. “Our objective with this new fund is to continue to demonstrate that it is possible to achieve top-tier returns by investing in companies started by women,” said Duggal.
The firm has done a “fairly prolific job thus far in digital health or the consumerization of digital health,” said Duggal, noting investments in Maven Clinic, Real, Thrive Global, Tempest and Oula Health. With “the decline in the role of religion there has definitely been an emergence of specific interest-based digital communities,” she added. The firm has thus far invested in Peanut for modern motherhood, Co – Star in astrology, and Lex for the queer community.
The fund’s new areas of focus are workplace efficiency tools given work-from-home trends, education platforms and climate post-COVID.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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