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VC investments and female-founded startups

Some improvement for investments in European female-founded startups

Venture Capital investment in European female-founded startups has been growing. This year, Euro 8.6 billion has already been invested in European startups with at least one female founder across 1,439 deals, according to financial data and software company PitchBook’s European VC Female Founders Dashboard.

Lithuania and Ireland are among the European countries with the highest percentage of venture capital deals involving female founders over the past five years.

Last year, companies founded solely by women garnered just 1.2% of the total capital invested in venture-backed startups in Europe, down from 2.1% in 2020, PitchBook’s dashboard shows. The dashboard shows that by end of August  2022, it had reached 1%.

“However, disparities remain in funding for women-led startups between individual countries. Europe’s largest VC hubs, which see the highest volume of deal activity, fall behind many other counties in their percentage of deals that involve female founders”, PitchBook says.

“Much smaller ecosystems such as Lithuania and Hungary have registered higher participation, with female founders present in 28.5% and 25.9% of rounds, respectively.” 

“For comparison, Europe’s largest VC hub, the UK, saw female founders present in 24.1% of deals, while Germany only registered 20.3%.”

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 got just 1.2% of the total capital invested in venture-backed startups in Europe.

“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 2021 saw the creation of several women-led funds, incubators for female founders and more new companies”, PitchBook says.


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