Funding for startups founded by women is declining

According to the latest barometer conducted by BCG and the SISTA collective, dedicated each year to the conditions of access to funding for women startup managers, funding for startups founded by women fell in 2021. They raised 4 times less funding than their male counterparts.

4.3 times fewer funds raised by female founding teams

Whereas in 2020, the gap between funds raised by startups founded by women and those founded by men had narrowed, especially in the early rounds of financing, it seems to have widened again in 2021.

According to the results of BCG and SISTA's latest barometer "Startups françaises: les équipes mixtes grandes gagnantes des levées de fonds", startups founded by women raised 4.3 times less funds than those founded by men. Over the period from 2008 to 2019, the average difference was only 2.4.

Startups with all-female founding teams raised an average of 4.4 million euros in 2021, compared with 18.8 million euros for all-male teams.

This data confirms what was observed last year, when almost all the French Tech startups that achieved unicorn status by virtue of a valuation in excess of $1 billion had men as founders.

Only one was an exception: Vestiaire Collective, which became the 11th French Tech unicorn in 2021, was in fact founded in 2009 by a mixed team of 4 men and 2 women, Sophie Hersan and Fanny Moizant.

Men's teams still favored by investors

In 2021, there were no fundraisings of over 50 million euros for 100% female founding teams, even though they now represent 8% of French Tech, up from 5% in 2019.

Mixed founding teams, made up of men and women, are also on the rise. Whereas 10% of funds were raised by startups founded or co-founded by women in 2020, this share has risen to 12% in 2021. Furthermore, while 14% of French startups had at least one woman among their founders in 2020, this figure has now risen to 16%.

However, this mix is hardly balanced. Indeed, while around 70% of women join forces with men to found their startup, only one man in five chooses to work alongside a woman.

It has to be said that, even though mixed founding teams are 1.4 times more likely to be financed, and raise on average between 400,000 and 800,000 euros more than all-male teams in the first rounds of financing, the latter are still largely favored by investors.

When we look at fundraising in 2021, across all financing rounds, we see that all-male founding teams still raise an average of 4 million euros more than mixed teams.

Men who choose to do business with other men raise on average 1.6 times more than if they partnered with women. As for women, they raise 3.4 times more when they partner with men than with other women.

In total, all-male founding teams captured 88% of funds raised over the whole of 2021, compared with 11% for mixed teams and just 1% for all-female teams.