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The Bridge Conference: Capital Raising Outlook for Women VC Managers

May 26, 2022

In 2021, only 2% of venture capital (VC) money was raised by female founders.[1] Surprisingly this was the smallest share since 2016 for the notoriously male-dominated industry. This disproportionate allocation is mirrored at the fund level where less than 17% of general partners (GPs) are female.[2]

Many argue that access to capital and funding are the main challenges that women face both at the founder and GP level.  On May 12, Bridging Events, whose mission is to bridge the gender gap in the funding space by connecting limited partners (LPs) to women GPs, held the spring edition of The Bridge Conference in San Francisco. 

The event was attended by 40 female-founded VC funds, all of which had to apply and be selected to attend.  Of the 40 funds, ten were selected to pitch their fund to an audience of fellow managers, key service providers and, most importantly, LPs.  The conference also included a LP/GP speed matching session where managers were given the opportunity to meet with LPs one-on-one.

During the conference, both GPs and LPs discussed their outlook for the VC space going forward on the heels of a downward spiral in the public markets.  During the opening panel focused on venture capital investment trends, the longer-term seven-to-ten-year life cycle of the venture capital investment space was highlighted as a protection against short-term public market vulnerability.  This was determined to be an advantage for emerging mangers making investments in the near term.  It was also acknowledged that the current environment has fostered less exits for venture-backed companies and GPs are spending more of their time advising their portfolio companies on pressing issues.  These issues included dealing with current labor shortages, endeavoring to have enough cash on hand to survive the next 24 months in the event of a recession, and preparing for any further potential supply chain challenges.

[1] Women Founders Raised Just 2% of Venture Capital Money Last Year - Bloomberg

[2]Different Funds

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