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Introducing Fund XX, an early-stage VC fund investing in women-led startups

Posted by Kanika Sinha

December 20, 2021    |     3-minute read (566 words)

Venture capital firm The Fund has introduced a startup fund aimed at supporting the next generation of female-founded businesses across the U.S. The Fund XX is an angel investment fund underpinned by a community of founders and operators, with some 90% female investors. The intent is to address the pain points of female founders in a bid to even out the male-dominated entrepreneurial playing field.

The backstory

After being deemed “not fundable” by the investment community for her two legal-tech ventures, eBillingHub and Bellefield Systems, due to what she surmised was her Venezuelan background and female status, Gabriela Isturiz teamed up with three other talented women — also tech investors/founders/operators — to start The Fund XX in October 2021. 

Her co-founders are Ragini Holloway, senior vice president of people at Affirm; Sylvia Kuyel, vice president of revenue at JumpCloud; and Allison Stoloff, an investor at Hanaco Ventures and a former operator with previous roles at Knotel, Oscar and Facebook.

The Fund XX is part of The Fund Global, a community of 500 founders and operators investing in mission-driven, technology-enabled companies at their earliest stages. The Fund Global launched in 2018 with the intent of combining capital, resources, expertise and networks to take a community-driven approach to angel investing. To date, it has invested in 140 companies.

The Fund XX

Named in a nod to the female XX chromosomes, Fund XX seeks to build a community that will remove the obstacles female founders frequently have to contend with in the industry. Further, it intends to unlock new opportunities and attract more women to the male-dominated venture capital ecosystem.

How it works

The Fund XX paves a new path for female investors and entrepreneurs by leveraging the power of community around a fund structure for early-stage investments. Consider these factors:

  • 90% of its investors are women, Fund XX thereby helps create a strong on-ramp for women investors into the pre-seed and seed ecosystem. 
  • Its community of limited partners not only invest, but also bring extensive operational expertise as former and current founders/operators.
  • This network of investors brings capital and resources to female founders, along with an ability to deploy resources and expertise to women-led companies much faster than fragmented angel groups and syndicates as part of a huge overarching fund structure.
  • Its compact community is already in place and facilitates follow-up rounds.
Target investment firms

Despite Fund XX’s connections to legal tech, investments won’t be limited to women-led legal tech startups. Rather, Fund XX is sector-agnostic. Its investors are eyeing startups that demonstrate scalability, serve large markets and are technology-enabled across all markets such as health care (femtech), direct-to-consumer and regulatory tech. Furthermore, target investment companies should not only be women-led and founded but also have women CEOs. 

How much will it raise

The total amount raised by Fund XX had not been disclosed at the time of publication, but its target close is $5 million. 

Impact

Women comprise 15% of general partners at VC firms, according to PitchBook. That implies only 15 out of 100 women make decisions about which companies get funding. Although over 50% of Fund XX’s participants are first-time investors, women are twice as likely to invest in other women. Enabling the participation of female investors in pre-seed and seed companies makes the ecosystem more inclusive and fosters better decisions in terms of whom to fund and invest in.

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