Female Founder Funding Report FY2018 – FY2021

Techboard is pleased to present its very first special report on Female Founder Funding in for Australian Startups. The report covers the four financial years from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2021 and is the most comprehensive analysis undertaken to date of the successes of  Australian female founded startups and considers both solely female founded companies and companies with at a mixed gender founding team including at least one female founder.

The report follows from a piece of work Techboard has undertaken for the Department of Industry Science Energy and Resources to classify all funding events that we had previously captured according to the gender of the companies’ founders and to monitor funding to female founded companies on an ongoing basis.

Techboard CEO and Co-founder Peter van Bruchem commented:

“We were very keen to do this piece of research to help inform, encourage and empower female founders. We were confident the picture for Female Founders in Australia was ahead of what is being reported in the United States and we feel it is important that female founders are not unnecessarily discouraged by stories of how hard it is to raise capital in another country.” 

“Our Report highlights that there is much that can be improved in Australia, but starting with relevant high quality local data is a good place to start.”

The Foreword for the Report was very kindly provided by Susan Oliver, Chair at Alice Anderson Fund and Australian Angel Investor of the Year 2021 in the  Australian Angel Awards conducted by Techboard.  Susan expressed the view that:

“Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the new ideas that can achieve the envisioned knowledge economy and rethink how we operate economically and socially. Female founders bring a different perspective and approach from their male counterparts to the opportunities that exist or are created."

Susan then issued a call upon investors to participate in supporting Australia’s entrepreneurs and in particular, female entrepreneurs

"It is an amazing opportunity to take part and grow value in the creative economy. It is exciting, it is educational and it needs that concerted effort. What a logical way to ensure that women participate in bringing what is different and important to the table.”


Highlights from the Report

  • Over the 4 years covered by the report female founded companies (companies with at least 1 female founder) had secured $5.8b AUD in funding, representing 23.7% of all Startup funding.
  • 19.7% was secured by companies with a mixed gender founding team and 4% by solely female founded companies. 
  • 35.5% of VC/Private investment went to companies with at least 1 female founder (32.2% mixed gender team) and 4.4% (solely female founded) of the total amount of private investment of $10.9b.
  • Solely female founded companies secured 12.1% of all VC deals (by number).
  • Half of the top 10 privately funded companies had a female founder and collectively raised 28% of all private funding recorded for the period. 
  • The growth of private investment funding secured by companies with at least one female founder outstripped overall growth, with average annual growth rates of 189% for mixed teams and 280% for solely female founded teams, compared to 61% for all male teams.
  • FY21 saw a reduction in the proportion of private investment going to female founded companies from a combined 44.4% to 29% ( a drop in the proportion of private funding for mixed teams of -16.2% and solely female founded teams of -23.1%)
  • While funding from the public markets play a significant role in the overall funding mix with 22% of all funding, female founded companies have secured collectively only 7.4% public funding between mixed teams and solely female founded teams.
  • Solely female founded companies, and to a lesser extent mixed teams, raised significantly less per round when compared to all male founding teams - Series A rounds are on average 66.8% smaller for solely female founded teams compared to all-male, Seed rounds were 63.3% smaller on average. 
  • Female founded companies collectively closed 19 megadeals of $50m+.

The report contains many charts and tables as well as lists of top Investments by deal size and top investors in female founded companies by no. of deals and total round value.


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