New report shows existence of a gender gap in performance among VC-financed startups

A recent study published by Sahil Raina, an assistant finance professor at the University of Alberta in the US, shows some interesting findings when it comes to identifying a gender gap in performance among VC-financed startups. It would appear that venture capital-financed startups with female founders have a better shot at a successful exit if the investment firms that back their first rounds have at least one female partner. Raina combed through CrunchBase, the startup data tracking site, to compare how tech companies stacked up to ones headed by men. Raina’s initial findings were on par with most statistics: male-led firms either went public or were sold at higher rates than female-led firms. Only 17 percent of female founders had successful exits, compared to 27 percent of male founders. Raina found something else particularly interesting. When a venture capital firm had all-male partners and invested in a female-led startup’s first round, that female-led startup had only 15 percent chance of a successful exit. If a male-led startup was in a similar scenario, its odds of a successful exit were around 40 percent. But if a first-round VC firm had at least one female partner, startups led by either gender had a similar shot at a solid exit, with odds around 40 percent. Currently, female VCs make up only 9 percent of all partners at firms. Fascinating stuff!