The UK's venture capital industry is finally taking advantage of female talent as Wendy Tan White joins BGF Ventures

Lucy White
From left to right: BGF Ventures' partners Rory Stirling, Simon Calver, Wendy Tan White, and Harry Briggs
From left to right: BGF Ventures' partners Rory Stirling, Simon Calver, Wendy Tan White, and Harry Briggs

The typically male-dominated world of venture capital is to get a new female face, as entrepreneur Wendy Tan White joins the UK's biggest early stage tech investor.

Tan White will be the first new partner appointed at Business Growth Fund (BGF) Ventures since inception three years ago, and the fund's first ever female partner.

Read more: International Women's Day: Why tech VCs must reflect the diversity of the firms they fund

She was previously a general partner at European tech accelerator Entrepreneur First, and has made 16 personal investments as an angel investor while mentoring more than 40 companies from inception to funding.

“We are at an inflexion point in the UK tech ecosystem – there is now depth in the availability of different stages of capital and generations of successful exited entrepreneurs who are able to guide and mentor emerging companies,” Tan White said.

“It is the right time and we have the right ingredients to build businesses that can become globally significant.”

Tan White co-founded, a UK-based website builder for small and medium-sized enterprises, which was sold to Yell Group (now Hibu) for $37m (£29.05m) in 2012.

She was also awarded a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in 2016 for services to technology and business.

Read more: Just nine per cent of funding goes to women-led startups – it is crucial we correct this imbalance

Imperial College-educated Tan White has used her position to attempt to convince more girls to consider a career in technology, and is a prominent critic of the industry for its lack of diversity and apparent ineffectiveness at challenging outdated stereotypes.

The investor herself sits on the Government Digital Advisory Board, the Imperial College London Industrial Liaison Board, the Advisory Board of the Dyson School of Design Engineering and is a board director of Tech City UK.

She is also a trustee for the Alan Turing Institute, the national institute for data science.

Read more: These surprising stats show the shocking lack of women in UK venture capital

BGF Ventures, which is beginning its third year of investment, is currently pushing beyond London and the south east and made its first investment in Edinburgh last month.

The fund, which is backed by a number of big UK banks, expects to invest in other UK regions before the end of the year.

Having already invested nearly £50m in 18 companies, BGF Ventures' current recipients range from recipe delivery company Gousto to music creation app Roli.

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