Spanish women-led startups get access to more VC cash

Updated: Jul 28, 2020

- FashionTech and EduTech benefit.

As more VC's, accelerators and business angels learn about women-led startups being as good as their male counterparts at creating revenue and - according to a BCG study even slightly better at it - more funds are being earmarked to female tech founders. In Spain, Startup accelerator Wayra is first out to bet on this niche.

My guess is that this "awakening" will lead to a stronger focus on gender balanced founder teams across Spain, benefitting from more enhanced ways of problem-solving.

Wayra, Telefonica´s start-up accelerator, has announced that they will dedicate €2 million in funding on women-led startups in Spain. One catalyst could have been this BCG study from 2018, pointing out that startups founded by women are really good at generating revenue.

From the BCG report, titled "Why Women-Owned Startups Are a Better Bet;

"According to our research, when women business owners pitch their ideas to investors for early-stage capital, they receive significantly less—a disparity that averages more than $1 million—than men. Yet businesses founded by women ultimately deliver higher revenue—more than twice as much per dollar invested—than those founded by men, making women-owned companies better investments for financial backers."

More capital to female founders create a win-win-win scenario

The Wayra initiative,(Nov 2019), has support from many other important Spanish VC's wanting a part of the expected success from female-made startups;

Caixa Capital Risk, Inveready, JME, Kibo Ventures, Nekko Capital, Sabadell, Swanlaab and The Venture City.

This is very good news for ALL founders, men and women alike, and for their investors pushing them along, since everyone gains when there is a more even flow of venture capital with a less biased lens.

I also think that this stronger emphasis on female founders from the Capital side will lead to more revenue in average for all startups, with at least one woman in the founding team. As well as leading to revenue being created earlier in the startup journey since women typically are less prone to huge bets on growth "at all costs" than men are.

Spanish female startup founders about 20%

It might take some time to inspire women to get into the Tech sector to start with, and secondly to get into the risky business of building up an idea from scratch, with a startup.

Numbers (2019) from the annual South Summit study shows a female founder ratio of only 19% in Spain. For the previous year the same number was 22% but it seems to stand still around 20% in Spain.

Hopefully the expected influx of investment funds earmarked for their ideas will change this seemingly static number of only 20% Spanish female founders in tech!

For female startup founders FashionTech and Edutech come first

The women-led startups in the South Summit study (2018) were especially focused on EdTech, everything tech that is improving and innovating the Education sector.

In the Entrepreneurs Review by South Summit (2019) the EdTech is probably included in the Arts & Culture column on second place. On first place comes Fashiontech. Maybe a disruptor to the great empire of Inditex is in the making?

More reading: Are Covid-19 and Spanish FashionTech changing your wardrobe forever?

Female entrepreneurs in Spain above European average

When we look at Entrepreneurship as being more than "just" tech startups, the up-rise of female founders in Spain is much greater. The report "Informe Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) España 2018-19" put together by la Red GEM España and CISE shows very, very positive numbers:

"Currently 9 women start businesses for every 10 Spanish men, a number that exceeds the average in Europe, where only 6 women are counted per 10 entrepreneurial men."

A list of 54 Spanish companies started by female entrepreneurs (Nov 2019 ) put together by Lanzadera, a key accelerator in Valencia, inviting all kinds of initiatives not just the techy ones, shows that female founders are very versatile in choosing sectors. Although, with a strong presence in the typically female areas such as Fashion and Interior design.

Support systems to breed female investors and entrepreneurs

An article from Spanish newspaper Expansión states that:

"Only 9% of Spanish business angels are women. And "the percentage falls to 6% among venture capital managers."

Good news is that there are many Spanish organizations working to improve these statistics.

One of them is WA4STEAM, Women angels for STEAM, an international community of women angel investors.

Based in Barcelona they are seeking to expand women entrepreneurial presence in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Architecture and Mathematics) fields.

Another one is Impulse4Women, with HQ in Madrid, "formed and developed by women from the investment and entrepreneurship industries." They aim to connect, promote and impulse active, high potential women entrepreneurs and investors to promote greater gender diversity in the industry as a whole.

Crafted by Caroline Lagergren

What do you need to know about Spain's startup ecosystem? Get this 70 pages, data-rich* report for clarity! (€20): REPORT: Spain's startup ecosystem and digital economy * Packed with names you will want to contact. ;)

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