Tech startups and scaleups with at least one female co-founder are set to raise £3.6 billion in venture capital funding in 2022, according to data from Dealerroom analyzed for the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.
In 2022, eight companies with female founders and co-founders raised more than $100 million, demonstrating how the UK tech sector is maturing. The majority of investment in women-led businesses occurred at the pre-seed and seed stage, with 158 startups raising early-stage funding to help build the next generation of tech businesses.
Technical Secretary Michelle Donnellan said: “I want the UK to be the best place for anyone – man or woman – to start and grow a tech business, so it is fantastic to see female-founded firms attracting more investment than ever before.
“Along with industry leaders, my new department will work hard to create the right environment for inspiring women to pursue careers in the UK’s thriving tech industry and help them reach new heights.”
Rounding out the top 10 for UK startups with at least one female founder or co-founder:
- FNZ – Fintech – $1.4 billion
- Nucleo – Nuclear technology – $319 million
- Lending – Fintech – $252 million
- Multiverse – Edtech – $220 million
- Starling Bank – Fintech – $157 million
- Growup Farms – Agritech – $120 million
- Karma Kitchen – Foodtech – $120 million
- 5ire – Fintech – $100 million
- Proximi – Healthtech – $80 million
- Cleo – Fintech – $80 million
Leader in Fintech and Energy
The UK has a world-leading fintech ecosystem. Fintech companies Majority venture capital funding for firms founded by women, such as PensionBee, which helps people amalgamate their pensions on a single platform, and Fintech, a Bristol-based fintech that facilitates shareholder democracy Makes more effective.
Energy is the second biggest sector for female founders, with large rounds raised by companies such as Nyobolt, which focuses on delivering end-to-end ultrafast charging battery solutions (£50 million), and Hydro Wind Energy, which harnesses wind and solar energy. Creating systems to combine energy. Wave Energy (£44.5 million).
Tackling Impact Challenges
Women founders are leading the way in building and leading impactful tech companies – startups focused on using technology to solve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. This includes companies such as Compass Pathways which looks to tackle mental health, Veera Health which created menopause app Stella to improve women’s long-term health, and Ivy Farms which is developing cultured meat; functional.
With almost 200 impact startups founded by women in the UK, these companies together employ an estimated 8,000+ people.
There is some way to achieve gender equality. Only 13 of the UK’s 144 tech unicorns – companies with at least a $1 billion valuation such as Match Fashion, Interactive Investor and LastMinute.com – have at least one female founder, which is 9% of all unicorns created in the UK .
Since 2016, the government has supported the Tech Talent Charter, an industry-led group that brings together over 700 organizations to improve diversity and inclusion in tech. The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology is working with Colorintech on the development of a toolkit for digital businesses to create a more inclusive workplace.
The Digital Skills Council, launched last year as part of the digital strategy, brings together industry leaders and training experts from Starling, Google, Future Dot Now, Microsoft and more to drive business-led action Can go and the pipeline of talent can be increased in digital. and technology.
Last year the Government Equality Hub launched an industry-led task force to increase the number of high-growth businesses led by women, with a particular focus on areas outside London. Chaired by Anne Bowden, CEO and Founder of Starling Bank, the taskforce is supporting women entrepreneurs, influencing high-growth investors, and helping meet the government’s goal of halving the number of women entrepreneurs by 2030 is working with organizations across the UK to
Debbie Forster, CEO of Tech Talent Charter, said: “Since 2015, we have been leading the way in ensuring that women have the means and support to be a part of this dynamic and exciting industry.
“Over the past eight years, we have brought together more than 700 signatory organisations, including companies, charities and government departments, to drive their diversity and inclusion efforts in digital and technology, such as the recently launched Variation in technical reports. This is essential if we are to close the skills gap and provide industry with the talent and creativity it needs to compete globally.
Yvonne Bajela, partner at LocalGlobe, said: “Women founders are an integral part of the UK tech ecosystem, but we need more of them to try and build companies that challenge the status quo and improve the world. We’ve supported some incredible women-founded businesses from Supercritical to LocalGlobe that are helping businesses reach zero and cable that are tackling financial crime. Incredible progress has been made so far and it is important that we continue to champion and support women founders at all stages of their journey.
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