The Artemis Fund is a Houston-based mostly completely firm built by three women with the intention of encouraging more women-led startups. The company launched in 2019 and has raised a $15 million initial fund, which closed earlier this 12 months.
Diana Murakhovskaya, who launched the firm with Stephanie Campbell and Leslie Goldman, says that the three women met over a mutual interest in investing in startups, one that didn’t honest write a take a look at and stroll away, nevertheless that was genuinely involved in helping these corporations develop and thrive.
“We launched the fund in 2019, and we were looking to increase a micro VC to invest in about 15 corporations, and aid a concentrated portfolio the place we can genuinely wait on these corporations,” she said. The LPs in the fund are damage up 50/50 between males and women with an equal capital portion among them, she said.
The women known that feminine founders faced an up-hill strive against when it came to getting funding. In truth, in 2019 Crunchbase analysis came upon that honest 13% p.c of VC money went to startups with not less than one feminine founder with all feminine founding groups accounting for honest 3% of that.
At the same time, as the women came collectively in the Houston investing scene, they couldn’t wait on nevertheless glimpse that it was largely dominated by older white males. Murakhovskaya, whose background is engineering, connected with Campbell, who has an MBA and so they desired to seize why more women weren’t getting involved.
“I said, ‘The place are your entire women?’ [ … ] And so we began doing these dinners to bring collectively women and asking them why they’re not investing, what they’re doing and, and these were all company women [who had the money to invest].”
What they came upon was that either women had never been invited to invest, or love them they were looking to manufacture it, nevertheless came upon angel investing less than satisfying. About this time, they met Goldman, who was a authorized professional, and was on the board on the Houston Angel Network. “She’s an active angel in about 50 corporations and 11 funds and equally had this thesis of shifting all of her investing to feminine founders on the time,” Murakhovskaya said.
The three women with distinctly assorted professional backgrounds determined to come aid collectively and the premise for The Artemis Fund began to interact form. “We belief it was the perfect [mix] — kind of what happens when an engineer, an MBA and a authorized professional celebration. So, we find that our backgrounds are interesting, and that helps a host of our portfolio corporations in a host of assorted ways,” she said.
That supposed they desired to be involved with the founders and wait on them develop the businesses. “And so that was one thing we desired to be certain that that differentiates us from the other feminine-centered VCs. We would invest nationally, we would lead or co-lead most of our rounds and genuinely wait on the corporations along the capital stack. And that supposed running a mighty more concentrated portfolio.”
The fund focuses on startups with feminine founders, who’re in monumental doable markets, nevertheless ones that conventional male-dominated VCs won’t look for the doable in. Among the portfolio corporations is UNest, a company that helps households have interaction income of tax-exempt school savings accounts to keep money for their early life’ school education and Fortify, a maker of personalized wigs and extensions. These businesses checked every of those boxes of being lunge by a woman in a monumental market that had been largely passed over by the traditional investment community.
Murakhovskaya says to this point the firm has invested in 11 corporations with plans to invest in 4-5 more and then increase the next fund. She says whereas it’s about helping nurture and originate these corporations, it’s additionally about finding corporations that continue to develop into their Collection A, B and beyond, whereas delivering a professional return for the company’s companions.
“That will not be a charity or philanthropy. We genuinely consider that women and various groups in explicit will outperform, on top of bringing collectively a assorted advise of corporations and merchandise and providers that are only not being met for the consumers that they’re trying to serve.”