Harriet, the leading platform championing female founders, has partnered with venture capital firms Artesian, Wavemaker Partners, Wavemaker Impact, B Capital, and 1982 Ventures to launch “The Female Founder Series”.

“The Female Founder Series” is a forum that aims to bridge the funding gap for female-led startups in the Asia Pacific region, Harriet said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to the statement, “The Female Founder Series” will bring together a carefully curated group of investors, mentors, and entrepreneurs committed to creating a level playing field for women in business through quarterly invite-only forums.

The inaugural edition of the forum will be hosted on March 30 and representatives from more than 40 venture capital funds will attend.

This initiative marks a significant milestone in the journey towards gender parity in the startup ecosystem in Asia Pacific.

These exclusive forums will provide a unique platform for female-led startups to connect with top investors from leading venture capital firms in the region, incorporating elements of unconscious bias training and breaking pattern recognition to educate investors and empower founders to showcase their innovative ideas and secure the necessary funding to drive growth and success.

Cited estimates by the International Financial Corporation (IFC), Harriet said a $300 billion gap in financing exists for women-owned small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and remains a major constraint, particularly in developing countries.

“This is a pivotal moment for female founders in Asia Pacific. We are thrilled to lead the charge in creating this series empowering female founders to succeed,

“The Female Founder Series will redefine what it means to be a female founder in the region and set a new standard for inclusive and equitable investment practices,” said Anna Pearson, Co-Founder of Harriet.

Steve Melhuish, Founding Partner of Wavemaker Impact and Venture Partner of Wavemaker Partners, said the firm is honoured to be part of this groundbreaking initiative.

“The future of innovation depends on a diverse and representative startup ecosystem,

“We are committed to supporting female founders and ensuring a more equal, inclusive, and sustainable investment landscape in Asia,” he added.

Alexandra Clunies-Ross, Portfolio Manager of Artesian, said that through this initiative, and via investments from its $100 million Female Leaders Fund, the firm is committed to actively supporting female founders across the Asia Pacific region.

“We want to help create a startup ecosystem which is wholeheartedly inclusive and is moving rapidly to achieve gender equality, and we invite other investors to join us on this mission,” she added.

According to the statement, “The Female Founder Series” is just the beginning of Harriet’s mission to bridge the funding gap for female-led startups in the region.

The company is also launching “Connecting Harriet”, a dedicated platform that provides female founders with access to tools, know-how, and resources designed to support their growth and development.

Harriet is a platform that supports female founders as they grow and develop their businesses and fundraise for external capital.

The platform works with founders to help them secure the right funding for their business and it partners with strategic venture capital funds with a focus on bridging the gender gap, an important yet challenging metric for many venture funds.

Artesian is a global alternative asset manager specialising in venture capital and debt investments.

The firm’s venture team invests in startups across Australia and the broader Asia Pacific region, with extensive experience in critical technology sectors including climate
and clean energy, agriculture and food security, health and well-being, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, education, and gender equality.

Wavemaker Partners is Southeast Asia’s go-to venture capital firm investing in early-stage enterprise, deep tech, and sustainability startups.

Since 2012, it has backed 190+ companies with $300 million in assets under management (AUM) across four funds.

Wavemaker Impact is a climate tech venture builder that co-founds sustainability-focused businesses in Southeast Asia with proven entrepreneurs.

It aims to rally individuals, investors, and businesses who care about the planet, and want to make a rapid, tangible change in the reduction of carbon emissions.

B Capital is a multi-stage global investment firm that partners with extraordinary entrepreneurs to shape the future through technology.

With $6.3 billion in assets under management across multiple funds, the firm focuses on seed to late-stage venture growth investments, primarily in the enterprise, financial technology and healthcare sectors.

Founded in 2015, B Capital leverages an integrated team across nine locations in the United States and Asia, as well as a strategic partnership with BCG, to provide the value-added support entrepreneurs need to scale fast and efficiently, expand into new markets and build exceptional companies.

1982 Ventures is the leading seed fund investing in fintech startups in Southeast Asia.

It is investing in and supporting the best founders to positively impact the future of financial services in Southeast Asia.

Women in tech: How these VCs are helping to close gender gap in Southeast Asia