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Mapped: The Top Female Founder in Each Country

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Mapped: The Top Female Founder in Each Country

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Companies with at least one female founder generate 78 cents of revenue for every dollar of venture funding, while male-led startups generate roughly 31 cents.

Yet, startups with only female founders receive just 3% of total invested dollars globally.

The above infographic from Business Financing explores the global landscape of female-led startups. It shows the top female founders according to the highest amount of capital raised, in each country profiled.

Global Rankings: The Top 10 Female Founders

Which female founders have received the most funding worldwide?

Based on data from Crunchbase, individuals were selected across 102 countries if they were a founder or co-founder of an active company as of May 21, 2020. Companies were selected depending on their status in seed, early stage venture, or late stage venture funding.

With $22 billion in funding, Lucy Peng, co-founder of Ant Group and Alibaba tops the list. Peng taught economics for five years before co-founding Alibaba with 18 others in 1999. Today, she is worth over $1 billion.

Peng’s 2.1% stake in Ant Group is estimated to be worth roughly $4.8 billion. Ant Group filed for an IPO worth an estimated $225 billion valuation in August 2020.

Female FounderFundingCompanyIndustryCountry
Lucy Peng$22BAnt FinancialChina
Rebekah Neumann$19.5BThe We CompanyReal EstateU.S.
Tan Hooi Ling$9.9BGrabTransportationSingapore
Kate Keenan$1.4BJudo BankFinTechAustralia
Victoria van Lennep$1.2BLendableFinTechUnited Kingdom
Cristina Junqueira$1.1BNubankFinTechBrazil
Frances Kang$581MWeLabFinTechHong Kong
Sophie Kim$282MMarket KurlyAgro & FoodSouth Korea
Ilise Lombardo$278MArvelle TherapeuticsBiotech & HealthSwitzerland
Milda Mitkute$260MVintedEcommerceLithuania

Following Peng is Rebekah Neumann, who has raised $19.5 billion with The We Company. Neumann studied business with a minor in Buddhism at Cornell, and later co-founded the gig-focused firm in 2010 with her husband Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey. Following the notoriously disastrous IPO of WeWork, she and her husband have since left the company.

Coming in third is Tan Hooi Ling who founded Grab in Singapore. The ride-hailing app is a major competitor of Uber in Asian markets.

Cristina Junqueira, who co-founded digital banking firm NuBank, also makes it into the top 10 list. Currently, NuBank operates as the largest fintech firm in South America, with over 20 million users. Meanwhile, Lithuania’s first tech unicorn, Vinted was co-founded by Milda Mitkute and serves as the largest secondhand clothing platform worldwide.

Unicorns Bucking the Trend

While funding for female-led startups has been disproportionately low over the years, the number of unicorns—private companies valued in excess of $1 billion—headed by women has grown over fivefold.

Since 2013, women-led unicorns have jumped from just four to 21 in 2019. While these numbers are still objectively quite small, they continue to climb.

Among the newly minted unicorns in 2019 was Airwallex, a company that allows businesses to track cross-border revenues. In April, the startup raised $160 million, valuing it at $1.8 billion.

Along with Airwallex, Scale, Glossier and The RealReal are also found on the list.

New Waves of Venture Capital

In 2019, 2,300 venture deal rounds included startups with at least one female founder. Of these, a number of startups raised over $100 million in funding in 2019 on a worldwide level.

StartupFunding AmountCountry
Guild Education$157 millionU.S.
Luckin Coffee$150 millionChina
Northern Arc$130 millionIndia
Kuaikan Manhua$125 millionChina
SpringWorks Therapeutics$125 millionU.S.
Rent the Runway$125 millionU.S.
Genera Energy$118 millionU.S.
Tala$110 millionU.S.
Kronos Bio$105 millionU.S.
Insitro$100 millionU.S.
Talaris$100 millionU.S.
Away$100 millionU.S.
Glossier$100 millionU.S.

Interestingly, funding data shows that women VCs are three times more likely than men to invest in women. This, coupled with the growing number of female partners at venture capital firms, is bringing a new perspective to tech financing.

At the same time, it’s opening up new markets. For instance, the $57 billion child care industry is largely overlooked by the VC world. San Francisco-based Winnie raised $9 million in funding in 2019, capitalizing on a marketplace specifically for parents.

Consumer products and markets focusing on solutions for women present areas of significant growth, particularly on a global level.

What’s Next For Female Founders?

While just a fraction of all venture funding is allocated to women-led companies, trends illustrate clear resilience.

Female-founded firms continually outperform—and shareholder returns are only getting better every year. As both startup and venture capital ecosystems continue to evolve, the future of women-led entrepreneurship is as bright as ever.

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