Singapore-based venture capital firm Integra Partners (Integra) has on Tuesday announced the launch of Win With Women, the new venture partner program supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), designed to promote female participation in angel investing, venture capital and technology start-ups.

Launched to coincide with International Women’s Day, Win With Women is the firm’s latest initiative demonstrating its commitment to advance gender equality, Integra said in a statement.

The new program aims to support aspiring women founders and angel investors, and ultimately help women-led start-ups become more investment-ready.

Win With Women will establish a senior venture partner in each of Integra’s key markets: the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia and Pakistan.

Each partner will be selected to source, evaluate, and invest in start-ups founded by women, led by women, or that disproportionately serve women.

Throughout the program, Integra will dedicate an experienced team of investors to work closely with the four senior venture partners by providing technical expertise, mentorship and coaching on a monthly basis.

“We’re exceptionally proud to be launching this initiative as we expand our regional footprint and add boots on the ground in our key markets,” said Jennifer Ho, Partner at Integra.

“One of the biggest barriers to inclusion for women is the limited access to mentorship and advice,

“Our hope is that this program goes some way towards demystifying the venture capital process for aspiring women angels and female founders and that ultimately, it will help
address the gender gap on both sides of the equation – the funding seekers as well as the funding providers,” she added.

Cited Pitchbook data, Integra said that as of 2021, companies with at least one female founder received less than 3 percent of the total global venture capital funding, highlighting that women-led companies are still underrepresented in the venture capital space and stressing the critical need to create more opportunities for female entrepreneurs.

In the role of angel investors, the figures are more promising – women make up roughly 24 percent of angel investors – but still fall far short of equality.

Integra’s partnership with USAID through the Digital Invest program with support from the GenDev Hub, and now with Win With Women, addresses this problem at the source by supporting female leadership in the finance sector, so that inclusion is part of the conversation from day one.

According to the statement, companies led by women and who promote women in their leadership ranks offer more inclusive products and services that better meet the needs of traditionally excluded consumers.

It said those that do not design their digital products and services by and for women, often miss out on this large potential consumer base they could be serving.

It noted that the lack of financial inclusion and access to affordable healthcare is still a significant issue in many parts of the region.

To address this, it said fintech and digital health start-ups need to better understand and cater to the differences between the way men and women think and manage money, as well as start-ups that champion diversity and inclusion in healthcare.

It is noted that Women often contend with biases in treatment and suboptimal care because their symptoms and treatment options have been based on medical research and clinical trials that predominantly involve men.

This is why the program was developed together with USAID to support entrepreneurs in the region to bridge this gap.

“At Integra, we are committed to championing equality and at the same time, we understand the importance for us to walk the talk. Integra’s general partners are made up of 50 percent women,” said Ho.

“The firm takes these issues very seriously and we want to contribute to change,” she added.

According to the statement, Integra is looking for experienced female entrepreneurs, executives, and industry experts who are passionate about supporting and investing in female-led businesses.

Integra is a multi-disciplinary sector-focused venture capital fund manager based in Singapore.

The regional venture capital firm is known for its early-stage investments in fintech and healthtech start-ups, drives financial inclusion and healthcare inclusion through its investment approach.

Its latest fund, Integra Partners Fund II, is aimed at empowering tech entrepreneurs to drive access and affordability to responsible financial services and healthcare in Southeast Asia.

Its first fund, Integra Partners Fund I, is a 2017 vintage fund that has consistently delivered top-quartile returns.

Integra Partners Fund II is a 2 times Challenge partner fund through anchor investor, the German development finance institution DEG’s investment in the fund.

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