By Nancy Dahlberg
When earlier this week I wrote about Maxeme Tuchman raising $1 million for her Miami startup, Caribu, I knew she was special.
I just didn’t realize how special.
Turns out she’s quite rare: Across the U.S., just 58 Latinx women founders have raised over $1 million in venture funding, according to a new report from digitalundivided’s ProjectDiane called The State of Latinx Women Founders. What’s more: Across the U.S., only 107 Latinx women founders have raised venture funding of any level across the U.S., and in Miami, where Hispanics are the majority, just 4 (yes, four) companies have.
Now if you are adding up with your fingers like I am and it seems like that number has to be low, you may be right. The ProjectDiane 2018 research team, which culled Crunchbase, Pitchbook, Mattermark and other databases as well as reaching out to entrepreneurial organizations, stresses that this is a baseline report and asks Latinx women founders to get counted by entering their information here.
ProjectDiane’s database includes companies that received VC funding or angel funding through a network. Some of the companies I counted, for example, may be self-funded or funded by an individual angel or friends & family and therefore not included in this dataset.
Here are a few additional statistics from the new report:
- VCs poured more than $1.9 billion in women-led startups representing all ethnicities in 2017, yet this represents just 2.2% of the total VC pie.
- Latinx women-led startups raised only 0.4% of the over $400 billion dollars in venture capital received by startups in the past 10 years.
- Although Latinx women are 17.1% of the U.S. women’s population, less than 2% of women-led startups are led by Latinx women.
- Startups from Miami, the most Hispanic of all the areas studied, show the tiniest portion of funding. The four founders from Miami represent just 0.01% of all venture funding in the last 10 years. (It’s worth noting that the Miami metro area receives a tiny sliver ---under 2 percent -- of the entire venture capital pie as well).
- 60% of funded Latinx founders hail from two states: California and New York, and those in New York raised more on average than their counterparts in California. Less than 17% of them have participated in top-pier accelerators.
In 2016, digitalundivided’s ProjectDiane unleashed a baseline report on the funding levels of black female founders -- what it called “the real unicorns of tech” -- and the numbers were even bleaker. At the time, just 84 black women founders had raised venture capital and just 11 of them had raised more than $1 million. Since the initial study, digitalundivided says, while still too low, the number of founders has grown to 227 and the amount raised increased from $50 million in 2016 to $250 million in 2017. ProjectDiane plans to release demographic studies on the state of black and Latinx women founders biennially.
To be sure, there is work to do. And I don’t have to get preachy this time -- the study does that.
Among the recommendations: Create more pipelines into the ecosystems for black and Latinx female founders. Miami is making strides in this with resources such as the Babson WINLab for female founders, Blacktech Week and Digital Grass among many others. Another one: Lure them from the big (and more expensive) cities; more than a third are located in San Francisco and New York City, for instance. Resilience, coachability and ability to pivot factor into the success of diverse founders more than technical expertise (Less than half of the Latinx women founders in ProjectDiane’s database worked in tech companies). And lastly, digitalundivided suggests, support the startup ecosystem through participating in startups, mentoring and investing.
Follow Nancy Dahlberg on Twitter @ndahlberg and email her at email@example.com