Venture capital investment into tech firms founded by women jumped last year despite soaring inflation and volatility sparking a slowdown in funding across the sector, new figures reveal.
Female founders shrugged off the downturn that hit the UK’s tech sector last year and bagged some £3.6bn of VC, up from £2.9bn the previous year, according to data from Dealroom analysed for the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.
Eight companies with women founders and co-founders raised over $100m, with the majority of cash coming in earlier stage pre-seed and seed funding rounds.
The uptick in funding for women-founded businesses comes despite VC firms reining in their investments last year in a downturn that has sent valuations of tech companies plummeting. Total VC investment levels into UK businesses fell by almost a quarter last year, KPMG found.
Tech secretary Michelle Donelan said in a statement today she wanted the UK to be “the best place for anyone – male or female – to start and grow a tech business”.
“It’s brilliant to see female-founded firms attracting more investment than ever before,” she added.
The biggest rounds of the year for firm’s with at least one woman founder were fintech firm FNZ, which bagged $1.4bn (£1.18bn) last February; Newcleo, a nuclear tech outfit, which closed a $319m round in June; and Lendable, which raised $252m last March.
Fintech firms bagged the lion’s share of the venture investment into women-founded firms, despite the sector weathering a downturn in the investment last year after a decade of bumper growth.
UK fintech firms more generally raised $12.5bn last year, down eight per cent on 2021 levels when capital injected into UK fintech hit a record $13.5bn, according to figures from industry body Innovate Finance.