Top-Flight Investors Back VC Firm Emphasising Diversity

Ada Ventures, a diversity-focused VC fund, raised $34 million.

A slew of high-profile investors backed Ada Ventures with $34 million. Ada Ventures will use the money to venture-finance UK-based tech entrepreneurs from under-represented groups.

Ada Ventures’ backers included TransferWise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus and later stage investment firm Atomico. Also investing were British Business Bank (the cornerstone investor), US-based Blue Sky Capital, Dubai-based Rasmala, and Silicon Valley law firm Wilson Sonsini.

Tech funding in Europe not diversified sufficiently

According to a study by Atomico, 92% of venture finance invested in European tech companies went to all-male teams. Secondly, 84% of tech founders who received money were white. Again, 82% had a university education.

Therefore, it appears that venture finance is not sufficiently diversified for gender, race, or background in tech companies in Europe.

Ada Ventures wants to change that balance and fund UK technology companies run by underserved customer sections or those neglected for other reasons related to diversity.

Also, Ada Ventures will provide capital to technology companies that create products for underserved segments such as senior people, women, and young people under 20.

“Venture is all about outliers, looking where other people aren’t looking, finding something at a lower value than the market prices it at,” says founder Check Warner. “All of our investors want to make money: we put it into their language and that unlocked people’s enthusiasm.”

Ada Ventures in good company

Several European, female-focused venture capital funds already exist. These include Borski Fund (based in the Netherlands), We Are Jane (based in Belgium), Voulez Capital and Silvergate Investments (based in the UK), and Jane VC (focusing on Europe and the US) among others.

Impact X, based in the UK, is a minorities-focused venture capital fund.

Future plans

The amount of $34 million just raised is the first close of the fund; Ada Ventures will come back for another raising of up to $ 40 million in 2020.

[Related Story: #Fuelherfuture: Crowdfunding Platform Kiva Hits $1 Billion In Lending to Female Entrepreneurs  ]


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