Funding to U.S. companies led by Black founders reached $1.8 billion in the first half of 2021, per Crunchbase data. That half-year total already eclipses the total funding to Black founders for all of 2018, which was previously the highest year. The dollar amount of funding to Black founders is up, but still represents just 1.2 percent of the record $147 billion in venture capital invested in U.S. startups through the first half of this year. Of that total, black female startup founders have received just 0.34 percent of the total venture capital spent in the U.S.
Moreover, in a new study led by Stanford psychologist Jennifer L. Eberhardt, researchers found that when venture capital funds are managed by a person of color with strong credentials, professional investors judge them more harshly than their white counterparts with identical credentials. “It’s not simply a pipeline problem,” Eberhardt said. “African Americans who are most qualified, those with the best track record, are getting blocked the most.”
To date, research still shows that VC-backed startups are still significantly male (89.3%), white (71.6%), based in Silicon Valley (35.3%) and Ivy-educated (13.7%).
This panel conversation will feature Black women in leadership at all levels of the VC ecosystem with the goal of painting a clear picture that it’s not education, skill set or experience that is often the barrier to success… but rather systemic practices, perspectives and biases that are yet to be broken. The panel will also touch on the fact that there is no shortage of BIPOC founders or VCs to invest in, there is just a greater need to asset frame the culture and the conversation.