Gesa Miczaika and Bettine Schmitz have a clear idea about their desired client based. Their EUR 15 million venture capital fund, Auxxo, is only available to start-ups founded by women or teams in which women own at least 20 percent of companies. Meanwhile 60 percent of the investors providing capital for the new fund are female.
It’s the first fund of its type in Germany, and it’s intended to address a glaring imbalance in German society and business. According to the website Startupmonitor, women founded 17.7 percent of start-ups in Germany in 2020. But only five percent of female entrepreneurs received EUR one million or more in funding – compared with 30 percent of men.
“Investments by business angels and venture capitalists are a basic prerequisite when it comes to scaling,” says Kim Zietlow, Director Trend & Innovation Scouting at German Trade & Invest, who is in charge of internationalizing Germany’s Digital Hub Initiative. “Male founders are 10 times more likely to receive funding than female founders. Most investors are male, and they tend to simply back male dominant teams. Therefore, Auxxo Female Catalyst Fund is a milestone and will spearhead much needed gender diversity initiatives in German startups.”