Women City

It's The Idea, Not The Charm That Woo VCs

By SiliconIndia   |   Tuesday, January 31, 2012
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Women are known to use their charm to get way out in many aspects, but it seems that their charm doesn't work on the investors. Investors look for unique ideas that creates an impact in the industry and they don't bother about the gender.

In 2011, nine percent of the total VC investments went to women entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs especially mydala founder Anisha Singh, babyoye.com founder Arunima Singhdeo, and Fashion and You founder Pearl Uppal were able to raise funding only because of their strong and unique ideas. Why do we see such low proportion of women-backed startups raising investments from VCs?

Rajeev Srivastava, Managing Partner, Basil Partners says, "We do not feel that it is more difficult for women entrepreneurs in the IT sector to raise funds from investors. As long as the entrepreneur has a strong value proposition, execution plan and demonstrate commitment, we do not differentiate on the gender of the promoter."

Worldwide, women own or operate 25 to 33 percent of all private businesses according to World Bank. Women-owned enterprises grow faster than those owned by men and faster than businesses overall. There are about eight million women-owned enterprises in U.S., having an impact of nearly $ 3 trillion dollars, and create or maintain more than 23 million jobs, a cool 16 percent of all the U.S. employment.

A small increase in funding could mean a big payoff in jobs and growth. Suruchi Wagh, Founder and COO, YourNextLeap, which raised venture funding from Nirvana Venture Advisors, the Patni family anchored Venture Capital Fund says, "I don't think that it is difficult for female entrepreneurs to raise funds from investors. We are fortunate to get investors with deep operating experience in Internet and software technologies, who believe in our vision of building the 'career graph' for students." She also adds that, "I don't feel there is any discrimination against women entrepreneurs. If one can demonstrate commitment and a valuable idea, then nothing matters. We have 16 employees, of which seven are women, who are extremely passionate and committed to their work." So it is wrong to say that women entrepreneurs are unable to raise investments.

Vineet Rai, Founder & CEO, Aavishkaar Venture Management Services says, "We have made many investments in women-led businesses. If the person is committed, has adequate passion, the challenges of fund raising are almost similar. Sometimes a woman co-founder may have challenges because of family responsibilities, but normally we have had no issues with women entrepreneur."

Thus, with the VCs being unbiased about the genders, it is the ideas and only the good ones which will be able to raise funds, and not the gender.

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