Fund F: Female Founders announces first close of €20m VC fund

Fund F: Female Founders announces first close of €20m VC fund

Fund F doubles down on the biggest opportunity in European Tech. Lisa-Marie Fassl and Nina Wöss, the creators of Female Founders, Launch a New VC Fund Focused on pre-seed investments in Gender Diverse Teams.

Fund F is a new European Venture Capital firm immediately looking to invest in startups founded by gender-diverse teams. Investments will be made into pre-seed and seed startups with at least one woman on the founder team, who are building a solution that can positively impact humanity. Focus industries include ClimateTech, HealthTech, FemTech, FinTech and HR Tech. The EUR 20M Fund had its oversubscribed first close at more than EUR 12M in October 2022 and is backed by institutional investors, successful entrepreneurs and leading business angels.

Since its launch in 2016 Female Founders has grown into a European network of over 60.000 individuals. Its founders, Lisa-Marie Fassl and Nina Wöss, have been focused on the mission of creating a more equal future through equal opportunities in the startup ecosystem for many years. Launching their own fund to go even further in supporting female startup founders was the logical next step for the pair. 

“Over the last six years building Female Founders, we have had touchpoints with hundreds of tech entrepreneurs from all over the continent. By working with them and supporting them in their fundraising efforts we have come to the conclusion that more diversity is needed on both sides – founders and investors. Money talks, and the people deciding where investments are being allocated need to be diverse as well.” – says Lisa-Marie Fassl, GP at Fund F. 

“In 2021 only 1.1% of all VC funding in Europe went to female-only led startups, just 8% went to mixed gendered teams. While the reasons for that are varied, we know one thing that is not a contributing factor – it’s not about the quality and quantity of the deal flow available in the early-stage segment.” – says Nina Wöss, GP at Fund F. “In order to tackle the many world crises we are currently facing, technological solutions need to be built by everyone, for everyone. Investing in a much more diverse group of founders is the only way for this to happen.” – she adds.

Fund F’s Investor base:  36% female and 2 institutional investors

More than one-third of the investors backing Fund F are women, and as a group, the limited partners bring varying backgrounds and experiences. The fund has two strong anchor investors: The public investor Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH with their Venture Capital Initiative and the well-established Austrian bank Raiffeisen Landesbank Steiermark. Super-angel Hansi Hansmann of the Hanswomen Group, as well as successful entrepreneurs such as the founders of Runtastic and Busuu are also invested in the fund. In addition, it attracted a Fund of Funds investment from Speedinvest, one of Europe’s most active seed-stage VC funds. 

Oliver Holle, CEO & Managing Partner at Speedinvest: “It’s hard to be unaware of the huge gender gap in all aspects of this space, and now is the time to act. The European VC ecosystem urgently needs players like Fund F. They are in a unique position when it comes to accessing gender-diverse deal flow in Europe. The team behind the fund has proven their ability to identify and attract the best founders, building trust and offering hands-on support.” 

New leadership for Female Founders

With the launch of Fund F, Female Founders will be handed over to two new individuals who have played a huge role in developing the company: Carina Klaffl (previously Head of the company’s startup accelerator Grow F), and Amelia Suda (previously Head of Talent at Female Founders). As Fassl and Wöss will focus fully on Fund F,  the pair will immediately be stepping into Co-CEO roles to continue to work on fostering equal opportunities for female entrepreneurs in the European tech ecosystem.

Fund F’s Investment Committee: industry-leading investors & entrepreneurs 

The Fund is supported by an Investment Committee bringing together some of Europe’s most established investors & entrepreneurs, representing the focus areas of Fund F. It consists of Florence Aretz – General Manager at TIER Mobility France, Johannes Braith – CEO & Co-Founder at Storebox, Katharina Klausberger – Investor & Co-Founder and former CEO Shpock, Elisabeth Löwenbourg-Brzezinski – Investment Professional & Member of the Sustainable Finance Council of the German Government and Deepali Nangia – Partner at Speedinvest & Co-Founder Alma Angels.

Want more info on Fund F? Check out the website here!

Interested in joining the Fund F team? Apply to be an Investment Manager