The founders a new female-focused venture capital firm – former Spotify Australia managing director Kate Vale and Elevacao founder Marissa Warren – have announced the closure of its first fund totaling $13.5 million.
Called Aliavia, the $13.5 million fund has attracted a who’s who of investors, and aims to address the gender imbalance prevalent in venture capital and tech, with only startups that have at least one female founder eligible for investment.
Investors in the first fund include the Forrest family’s investment vehicle Tattarang, Robyn Denholm and daughter Victoria Denholm’s Wollemi Capital, Up Bank founder Dom Pyn, and Zip Co’s chief executive Cynthia Scott.
Aliavia was set up in 2021 and has invested $8.7 million into nine startups with at least one female founder, including Australian genetic testing startup Eugene, online training platform HowToo, culture AI startup Othelia, and US-based art startup Loupe.
“The gender imbalance is appalling, and while there is a lot of talk that the inequality is shifting, we’re still a long way from parity,” Ms Warren said
“We want to see more billion dollar startups funded and led by women. As investors we have the power to change the world through what we invest in.
“We want to make our dollars count by investing in gender diverse teams that are having a real positive impact on the world, whilst also delivering superior returns.”
The first Aliavia fund has closed at a time when the federal government is still considering how to address diversity issues in funding.
The Boosting Female founders fund announced by the Coalition government under former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in 2018 has been effectively put on hold after just two rounds.
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