Only 15% of VC GPs in Europe are women

In 2021, European venture capital firms are at a high level.Startups on the mainland 100 billion euros raisedwhile the investors themselves raised nearly 20 billion euros for the new fund.

But, amid all the excitement, one thing hasn’t changed: the percentage of funding that goes to female founders.All-female startups raised just 1.1% of European investment last year, while 8.8% of the investment amount went to mixed gender founding teamaccording to Atomico’s State of Technology in Europe report.

today, a new report An article published by European Women in Venture Capital explores why this is the case, sharing new data on the gender balance of European VC firms.

The picture isn’t pretty; at European VC firms, only 15% of general partners (GPs) — the people who typically run the firm — are women. They also have lower shareholdings and fewer seats on investment committees than their male counterparts.

The findings are based on desk research of 303 European venture funds and a survey of 122 VCs in funds with more than EUR 25 million in assets under management.

VC firms have poor gender balance

Across Europe, 85% of VC GPs are male.

Worse than the UK average, where 87% of GPs are male. The worst is in Central and Eastern Europe: 90% of GPs are men.

Women manage fewer assets

Female GPs also have access to less capital than their male counterparts. Female GPs receive only 9% of assets under management (AUM) in Europe, although female GPs make up 15% of GPs.

In Northern Europe, female GPs receive only 6% of AUM. In the UK, female GPs only get 5% of the firepower.

women get shorter when they carry

Female GPs also have a smaller share of investment returns.

Across Europe, 91% of male GPs receive carried interest (the percentage of venture capital fund profits that go to fund managers), compared with 70% of female GPs, according to the survey of 122 venture capital firms.

Zooming in on the entire continent, the picture changes. In the Baltics and the UK, female GPs have the same carried interest as male GPs. In Southern Europe, however, only 44% of female GPs receive carried interest, compared to 79% of male GPs.

Partners are slow

While many VCs have been recruiting more female investors, these efforts have yet to make much of a difference at the partner level.

VC teams are evenly split between men and women in entry-level roles, with 46% of entry-level roles held by women. However, women hold only 32% of senior positions.

👉 Read more: 280+ female VC partners in Europe: a complete and updated list

Investment committee members are mostly male

Venture capital typically decides which startups to invest in at weekly investment committee meetings.

These meetings are predominantly attended by men: Four out of five investment committee members at the companies surveyed are men.

LP is worse

Moving up to limited partners (LPs)—individuals and firms that invest in venture capital funds—gender divisions are even more severe. The survey shows that only 10% of women in LPs have influence and investment decision-making power.

Female-led companies are on the rise

Most of Europe’s largest venture capital funds are largely managed by male partners.

However, Europe does have some sizable funds run by women.Last year, headquartered in Paris Revaia raises the continent’s largest fund Led by female GPs, €250 million.

Crowberry, led by three female partners and based in Iceland, also raised $90 million fund — Iceland’s largest ever.

Some (but not all) of these funds are solely focused on supporting female founders.In the UK, there are Pink Salt Ventures, which launched in December, invests in pre- and seed-stage women-led companies.In Germany, there are Auxxo, a $15 million fund Dedicated to female founders.

What’s more, Auxxo has more female investors than male investors its fund. “It’s important for us to attract a lot of women as investors. Female founders will only get enough funding if there are more women investors in the venture capital industry,” co-founder Gesa Miczaika told Sifted at the time.

Amy Lewin is the editor of Sifted and co-host of The Sifted Podcast (listen to Spotify or apple).her tweet from @amyrlewin