21 Oct 2021

Why we’ve joined the Investing in Women Code

By Dama Sathianathan

We’re pleased to announce that we’re now a signatory to the Investing in Women Code, joining a league of financial services firms to improve access to resources and investment for female entrepreneurs.

When the UK VC & Female Founders Report was published in February 2019, it showed the problems that women building businesses in the UK face. The report revealed that for every £1 of VC investment in the UK, all-female founder teams get less than 1p, all-male founder teams get 89p, and mixed-gender teams 10p.

It spurred a number of conversations within our team about the nature of warm intros, how we might support female founders better within the tech ecosystem but crucially what does our own data say? Could we look at all our investment decisions since 2012 and narrow down the gender split of how much money went to female-founded businesses, vs. mixed-gender teams and male-founded businesses? The answer was yes, and with 107 ventures that we invested in by the end of 2018, we were able to get a proper picture dating back to BGV’s inception in 2012. And so our ambition to report on this data publicly in our annual Learning and Impact report was born. You can see the gender split in our investment decisions from 2012-2018 here, 2019 here and 2020 here.

We’re proud to say that in 2020, in a year marked by a global health and economic crisis, for every £1 of our investment, 34p went to all women teams, 41p to all men teams and 25p went to mixed-gender teams.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion play a big part in our investment thesis as tech for good VC, critically because we want to invest in founders from all walks of life who use technology to drive better outcomes for people and planet. And to do that, we need to also ensure diversity and inclusion is embedded across the companies we back, particularly when it comes to product and service design, because if it’s not diverse by design, it will be unequal by outcomes.

By signing up to the Code we’re making ourselves more accountable. In April this year, the first annual progress report from the Investing in Women Code was published. For the first time we had more benchmarking data available and realised that providing our data through this Code can contribute to hopefully a better ecosystem for female founders to access capital from VCs.

We also have to give huge props to our friends at UKBAA, founding signatory and strong advocates for the Code. Their last Future Forward event dedicated to D&I has really shown us how transformative this community can be and drive accountability and peer learning within the investment community, which is why we’re excited to contribute our portfolio data in the future.

As the Code progresses to include more markers of diversity beyond gender, we’re excited to share insights from our portfolio on this as well and provide better access to capital for founders from all walks of life. 

If you’re a founder building a tech for good business, get in touch