Beyond The Billion, whose first pledge campaign (The Billion Dollar Fund for Women launched in 2018) mobilized a global consortium of venture capital funds (VC) and limited partner (LP) investors, has released Our First Billion Global Impact Report, which assesses the results of that two-year campaign.

The Billion Dollar Fund for Women (TBDF) aimed to address the gender venture funding gap, where female founders only receive 2.2 percent of venture capital. TBDF was the first-of-its-kind global capital commitment campaign focused on gender-lens investing, inspiring venture capitalists to pledge to invest more into female-founded companies.

To date, its global consortium has deployed over $600 million or 61 percent of the $1 billion pledged to female founders in just two years. These were invested into almost 800 female-founded companies—nine of which were recognized as unicorns, with the remainder expected to be deployed by 2023.

Additional analysis from a sample size of 479 of the deals tracked by PitchBook showed that these portfolio companies have gone on to raise over $4 billion within the timeframe of the 2018-2020 pledge campaign.

Beyond The Billion co-founder and managing partner Shelly Porges said, “Innovative female founders globally are solving some of the world’s most pressing problems and we at Beyond the Billion are excited to report that so many of them have now obtained funding in the last two years thanks to the capital deployed by our partner funds. Whether investing in digital health, MedTech, online payments, or technologies in other sectors, these savvy VCs are enabling women-led companies to scale with huge implications not just for their own returns but for a better world for all of us.”

Beyond The Billion co-founder and managing partner Sarah Chen added, “The results of our first billion dollars campaign is a testament to the collective power of a community of investors activated around a specific goal. Through an unexpected global pandemic, our partner funds have remained steadfast in their commitment not only to investing into female founders, but also to addressing real structural issues to close the gender venture funding gap. As the report demonstrates, our work is nowhere near done, but we are celebrating this important milestone and commend all our partner funds on their deployment.”

Despite an unexpected global pandemic, funds remained resilient. In under nine months, 86 funds with assets under management of more than $12 billion pledged just over $1 billion to be deployed by December 31, 2020. Around 61 percent of this capital or over $638 million was deployed by December 31, 2020. Close to 800 companies with female founders received investments. Of these, 69 percent were mixed-gender teams, and 31 percent were all-female founder teams.

This amount was deployed across 13 different sectors, with the top three invested sectors being e-commerce, software-as-a-service and fintech. Funds were deployed across five regions, with the top three being North America (>$374 million), Europe (>$121 million) and Asia (>$82 million).

Our First Billion Global Impact Report reflects the aggregate performance of participating funds relative to their pledges and supplements current datasets on the gender venture funding gap at a global scale. It also provides a deeper look into these global trends via a microcosm of investors who have explicitly committed to investing incremental dollars into female-founded companies.

The report addresses three core questions: how much of what was pledged was deployed, what trends were observed, and what investors can do to better fuel women-led innovation. The report features insights from over three dozen founders and funders on their experiences in raising and deploying capital to achieve their overall goals, including diversifying their portfolios; globally, outside of the usual confines of traditional venture markets.

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