For those of you who haven’t heard, there is a gigantic gap between the amount of VC dollars women entrepreneurs receive versus their male counterparts. In 2018, VC funding for all female founders was at just 2.2% of the total. Today, some Quebec investors have announced they are joining a movement to combat this imbalance. Cycle Capital, BCF Ventures, Teralys Capital, Medteq and Investissement Québec are now all taking part in the Beyond the Billion initiative.
Beyond The Billion was founded to address the gender venture investment gap and help catalyze capital deployed by funds with dollars set aside to be dedicated specifically to female founders, ensuring their continued capacity to invest- by mobilizing LP commitments, convening LPs and connecting them to GPs who invest in venture-backable companies founded by diverse women founders.
Investissement Québec and Teralys become the first Canadian investors to directly support BTB to propel impact towards conquering the gender funding imbalance. This coming less than 2 months after CDPQ announced a $250 million diversity focused fund of its own. It’s clear that equality in entrepreneurship and innovation has become a priority for investors in Quebec of late.
“According to Pitchbook, in 2019, less than 3% of global venture funding went to all-women teams, and only 12% to gender-diverse teams. Throughout the growth of Cycle Capital, we have always striven to further the cause of female entrepreneurs; we are aware it is not a deal flow issue and we leverage our diversity around the investment table. Now with Beyond the Billion and Loyal VC, we have an opportunity to find other like-minded partners and harness support across Canada to make a pledge and join the consortium. We are mobilizing existing venture funds and limited partner investors to work together towards a common global goal — catalyze capital to scale women-founded companies in a sustainable manner.” said Andrée-Lise Méthot, Founder and Managing Partner at Cycle Capital.
“Investissement Québec is proud to partner with the initiative Beyond the Billion to contribute to the development of women-led or women-owned businesses. We know that only 16% of Quebec SMEs are predominantly owned by women and that these female entrepreneurs are often facing more barriers then men when seeking funding. We are determined to help talented female leaders achieve their ambitions by collaborating with others ecosystem partners that want to facilitate access to capital to women entrepreneurs,” added Guy LeBlanc, President and CEO of Investissement Québec.
Organizers of Beyond the Billion point to studies have shown that businesses founded by women deliver more than twice as much revenue per dollar invested. With Canada’s goal of doubling the number of women entrepreneurs by 2025, the investments made by Canadian partner funds will be more important than ever to ensure the success of these early-stage ventures and showcase Canadian diversity best-practices globally.
Individuals and investors interested in learning more about the initiative may find additional information at www.beyondthebillion.com.