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Only a Fraction of U.S. IPOs Have Female Founders

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women-led IPOs

The Briefing

  • Over the last decade, over 2,000 companies have gone public in the U.S.—but only a fraction of these companies have been female-led
  • Since 2013, only 18 women have founded and led a company through to an initial public offering (IPO) in the United States

Only a Fraction of U.S. IPOs Have Female Founders

Last month, Bumble’s founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd became the youngest female CEO to take a company public in America.

Herd’s achievement generated a lot of buzz, and for good reason—since 2013, fewer than 1% of U.S. companies to go public have been female-led. In other words, Herde has hit a milestone that only about 18 other women in the U.S. have achieved in the last decade.

Using data from Insider, this graphic looks at the number of female-led IPOs in America since 2013.

A Decade of U.S. IPOs

In 2020, four women took their companies public. While that’s double the amount in 2019, it’s still only a drop in the bucket compared to the hundreds of companies that went public with male founders last year.

YearAll Companies that went PublicCompanies with a Female Founder / CEO
20132462
20143092
20151962
20161253
20172171
20182592
20192412
20204424

Interestingly, three of the four companies in 2020 were in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries:

  • Annovis Bio Inc (ANVS), founded by Maria L. Maccecchini, develops drugs for neurodegeneration diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  • Ayala Pharmaceuticals (AYLA), founded by Roni Mamluk, is a clinical-stage oncology business focused on rare cancers
  • Athira Pharma (ATHA), founded by Leen Kawas, is a therapeutics company focused on Alzheimer’s disease

The fourth company, Amesite (AMST), founded by Ann Marie Sastry, develops AI software for learning institutions.

Important Note on Methodology

It’s important to note that this list excludes companies that went public with a female CEO who wasn’t an original founder.

However, Insider points out that even those figures are relatively small—only 9 extra companies would have made the list in 2020 if that was the case.

» Like this? Then you might enjoy this article The Top Female Founder in Every Country

Where does this data come from?

Source: Insider
Details: Data based on companies that are currently publicly traded. Companies that went public with a female CEO who was not the founder were excluded from the list.

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