Privilège Ventures Launches $20 M Fund for Female Led Startups

The Swiss-based venture capital firm will invest in female founders with its CHF 20 million Fund IV; “We don’t just want to support women,” said Privilège’s Jacqueline Ruedin Rüsch. “The data shows women in the driver’s seat produce better ROI.”
Lugano, Switzerland (October TK, 2022): Privilège Ventures announced today the launch of Fund IV, dedicated to scouting and investing in female led early-stage startups across Europe. The CHF 20 million fund, the first of its kind in Switzerland and one of very few globally, acts on research that shows that for every $1 of investment raised, startups run and co-run by women generated roughly twice the revenues on investments compared to male led companies.
The venture capital firm, authorized by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), was founded on values that derive from previous experience as founders’ entrepreneurs, operators and investors. As Privilège Ventures does portfolio-wide, Fund IV will provide women unceasing support, expertise and valuable network access on their journey to innovate and build successful companies.
“Our investment thesis builds upon strong statistical evidence that companies led by women are stronger performers,” said Lucian Wagner, Privilège Ventures Founding General Partner. “The numbers are staggering. It’s not just about being ethical and doing good: global GDP would grow 6% if rates of entrepreneurship were equal between men and women.”
The analysis was conducted by Boston Consulting Group on investment and revenue data over a five-year period. The study also showed that startups founded and co-founded by women received less than half the average investments made into companies led by men, even though the female led startups generated 10% more revenues over time.
“There are very few funds worldwide dedicated to backing female founders,” said Jacqueline Ruedin Rüsch, Privilège Ventures Founding General Partner. “And despite the rapid growth in the VC industry the percentage of female or gender-diverse led teams is falling. Combining the Privilège team’s extensive experience, the numbers supporting investing in women, and the tremendous energy in Europe driving young entrepreneurs, Fund IV taps into a an opportunity that few VC’s have seemed to recognize. .”
In addition to Wagner and Ruedin Rüsch, Fund IV will be overseen by seasoned founder and Venture Partner Lea von Bidder (femtech health company Ava Women AG, L’inouï). Cecilia Orlando, with previous experience with HNWI at UBS and Credit Suisse will head investor relations. The fund will seek 15-20 seed and early-stage female led companies across Europe, with an initial ticket sizes of about 250’000.
“Doing the right thing ethically and financially isn’t mutually exclusive,” said von Bidder. “Female led focused funds are a major untapped opportunity for venture funds and their investors. And they are also simply the right thing to support”.
Privilège Ventures existing portfolio already features stand-out female innovators and talent including von Bidder’s Ava Women AG, which recently exited to U.S.-based FemTec Health; AgroSustain SA, pioneers in all natural crop protection coatings; and IDUN Technologies AG, the neural interface unlocking secrets to better sleep and direct brain – machine interaction.

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