VC Artesian Launches $100 Million+ Fund for Female Leaders

By Adriaan Brits | Tuesday, December 21, 2021 | Finance, Women in Business

Venture capital (VC) business Artesian announced it has closed on the Female Leaders VC Fund, worth over $100 million. The new VC fund was launched in partnership with Scale Investors, an angel investors network focused on supporting female entrepreneurs.

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Tackling VC Gender Inequality 

Through the latest fund, Artesian plans to support high-growth female-led startup companies based in the Asia-Pacific region across Series A and B business funding rounds. Industry super funds Hostplus and legalsuper have contributed with a collective investment of $45 million.

The two investment companies teamed up to support female startup founders as a result of material inequality between the opportunities available for the two genders.

Research shows that more than 85% of global VC funding is traditionally provided to male-led startup companies, while as much as 97% of VCs are male. Moreover, male entrepreneurs and employees account for nearly 90% of total startup equity. According to Artesian, startup companies led by female founders receive less than 3% of total VC funding.

Therefore, Artesian and Scale Investors have launched the new fund to tackle this inequality issue. In addition to providing business funding, the VC business will also offer strategic support to female founders and entrepreneurs across Australia, New Zealand, and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region.

“Artesian is a global alternative asset manager looking for market failures that result in mispriced or undervalued assets. Female-led startups suffer underinvestment not due to a lack of talent, but from the lack of opportunities caused by cognitive biases and pattern recognition in an industry where 97% of VCs are male,” said Ali Clunies-Rossr, the portfolio manager at the Female Leaders VC Fund.

Artesian has created a unique metric called “Gender Diversity Assessment Score (GDAS).” This metric is used to decide which startup companies are best-suited to receive the support from the fund. The VC business hopes the GDAS will see broader adoption across the entire ecosystem in a bid to better evaluate gender diversity across early-stage startup companies.

Investments for the new fund will be managed by Artesian’s team, which mostly consists of females such as Partners Mei Lee and Vicki Lay.

“Artesian has recognised the chance to invest in an opportunity hiding in plain sight – female-led startups raising Series A and Series B funding. Artesian relishes our role as first-movers and ecosystem builders and believe that you do not have to sacrifice market-leading returns while delivering transformational change,” added Clunies-Rossr.

On the other hand, Scale Investors will be responsible for the fund’s community engagement, mentorship, and education for female entrepreneurs across Australia. The firm’s angel network consists of an outstanding group of accomplished people who strive to support and invest in diverse and talented founders. So far, the firm has taken part in more than 23 female-led startup investments.


VC companies Artesian and Scale Investors announced the closing of a new $100 million fund to provide financial and strategic support to female founders. The new Female Leaders VC fund will be focused on providing Series A and B business funding to high-growth female-led startup companies across the Asia Pacific region.

About the Author

Headshot of Adriaan Brits

An analyst of global affairs, Adriaan has an MSC from Oxford, with diverse interests in the digital economy, entertainment, and business. He is a specialist trainer in advanced analytics and media.

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