There’s a troubling fact in the business and startup world that we are reluctant to confront: Being part of a minority group makes it more difficult to develop a professional career.
According to a recent study conducted by McKinsey, only 21% of C-level management roles are occupied by women. The World Bank‘s survey also revealed that women, regardless of their locations, are more unlikely to own a business compared to men. Meanwhile, Atomico’s study shows that over 90% of funding goes to male founding teams, while more than 80% of startup founders are white.
It seems that the movement for workplace equality is sluggish, albeit getting more attention from the public.
Ada Ventures – Supporting Unseen Talents
UK-based investors Francesca Warner and Matt Penneycard are attempting to tackle this problem with their foundation Ada Ventures, an early-stage fund that helps overlooked and promising entrepreneurs. They announced at Disrupt Berlin that the fund has raised 34 million USD (~32 million EUR) from Atomico, Arlan Hamilton of Backstage Capital, BlueSky Capital as well as the founders of TransferWise and Supercell. They have also enlisted the support of the British Business Bank, which will contribute two-thirds of the total fund as a cornerstone investment through its Enterprise Capital Funds program.
The fund will support 30 overlooked startup founders in the consumer and healthcare sectors. To date, the fund has invested in 7 startups, including Predina, Inoviv, Motley, Ferly, Huboo, Polipop and Juno Bio. “We are looking for companies that are truly globally scalable, that can reach a billion of people, solving some of society’s biggest challenges,” Warner tells StartupTV.
“Fundamentally, Ada Ventures is about true inclusion, and we will invest in anyone, no matter what they look like and where they come from. We are incredibly proud to have such an experienced and supportive group of investors partnering with us to make Ada Ventures the most inclusive fund in Europe,” says Warner.