15% of VC partners are women

15% of VC partners are women

Only 15 percent of all general partners at European venture capitalists are women. European startups were able to raise 100 billion euros in 2021. Only 1.1 percent of that capital went to startups with only women founders and 8.8 percent went to startups with a mixed founder team. This is most likely linked to the lack of women in leadership positions.

It is a widely known fact that women are not widely present in the world of venture capital. A year ago, Sifted already wrote that there are not enough women general partners at VCs in Europe. A recently published report by European Women in VC shows that this situation remains unchanged.

Unequal gender balance

The report is based on desk research of 303 European venture funds and a survey of 122 VCs with over 25 million euros in assets under management. The results show that only 15 percent of general partners at European VCs are women. They have less carry interest and fewer seats on investment committees than their male colleagues.

‘In the UK, only 13% of VC partners are women.’

When zooming in on separate countries, the gender balance becomes worse. In the UK, only 13 percent of partners are women. In Central and Eastern Europe, only 10 percent of partners are women.

Less access to capital

Women who do become partners, have less access to capital than their male peers. They have access to only 9 percent of total assets under management in Europe. While 13 percent of all VC-partners are women in the UK, they only have access to 5 percent of all assets under management.

It is also common for general partners at VCs to have access to carried interest, which is the percentage of a VC fund’s profits that go to the fund managers. According to the survey, 91 percent of all male partners receive carried interest, while 70 percent of female partners have access to this interest.

Less women in investment committees

Overall, VC firms are hiring more women. In junior roles, VC teams are split fairly equally with 46 percent of positions held by women. When looking at senior positions, the balance becomes more unequal, with only 32 percent of positions held by women.

‘As many as 4 out of 5 members in investment committees are male.’

Investment committees decide which startups the venture capitalist invests in. The survey shows that as many as 4 out of 5 members on investment committees are male. Therefore, fewer women decide where the money from a venture capital firm goes to.

New venture capitalists

However, Europe is also seeing a rise of new venture capital funds that are run by women. Take the French Revaia, for example, which manages 250 million euros. Additionally, there is the German Auxxo, which manages 14.1 million euros and launched in December last year. This VC invests in startups founded by women, with mostly female investors.

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