Skip links

Low VC financing of Europe’s women-led startups

Europe’s women-led startups venture capital financing has been low so far this year. VC deals slowed in the first months of 2024 as dealmaking failed to continue the trend seen at the end of 2023, financial data firm PitchBook‘s data shows.

European startups with at least one female founder got €1.9 billion over 385 deals in the first quarter, the smallest haul since the second quarter 2020.

“Venture capital funding overall has surged in recent years, but the numbers haven’t leapt forward for female founders at the same pace. Last year, companies founded solely by women garnered just 1.5% of the total capital invested in venture-backed startups in Europe”, PitchBook says.

“But that number doesn’t tell the whole story. VC funding for female-founded or co-founded companies in Europe has been trending up in recent years, and 2023 saw the creation of several women-led funds, incubators for female founders and more new companies.” 

The biggest industry 2023 was software.  Female founders in the US and Europe had record-high shares of VC capital raised in 2023, even as a decline in deals made the business of raising money the toughest it’s been in years, according to PitchBook.

Read Also:  Record number of new unicorns include many GenAI startups

US female founders and co-founders secured 27.8% of deal value last year. That figure drops to 22.8% if you exclude OpenAI’s $10.0 billion raise, but it still marks a record high, the company says.

In absolute terms, deal activity fell along with the broader venture market, with female founders securing 25.0% fewer deals.

At the general partner financing level, the share of female check writers at the largest VC firms grew slightly 2023 to 17.4%, the company says.  

Funding for European female founders showed resilience in a down year. Female founders captured 25.8% of deal count and 20.5% of deal value in 2023—both records, although investment fell in absolute terms.”

The data shows that deals for European female-founded companies 2023 grew more than twice as fast as deals for all-male-founded companies over the past decade.”

Notable deals in March 2024 included a reported $100 million Series D ( typically funded by VC firms) for German ecommerce aggregator Razor Group, co-founded by Shrestha Chowdhury, and a €4 million angel round for Swedish longevity specialist Sand Clinic, founded by Anna Levander and Jennie Sandqvist, PitchBook reports.

Read Also:  Breeding unicorns in Europe


Moonshot News is an independent European news website for all IT, Media and Advertising professionals, powered by women and with a focus on driving the narrative for diversity, inclusion and gender equality in the industry.

Our mission is to provide top and unbiased information for all professionals and to make sure that women get their fair share of voice in the news and in the spotlight!

We produce original content, news articles, a curated calendar of industry events and a database of women IT, Media and Advertising associations.

    Do you want an experienced opinion on a job issue?
    Moonshot Manager is here to answer!

      Moonshot community sharing thoughts and ideas, in a anonymous, safe environment.