all raise

all raise

Record amounts of venture capital were deployed in 2020, but fewer dollars flowed to companies run by female founders, according to a new report from All Raise, the nonprofit backed by Pivotal Ventures, the investment firm of Melinda Gates and the Reid Hoffman Foundation.

"Our latest analysis of 2020 data shows that the pandemic year precipitated a backslide for female founders' access to funding — as well as those writing the checks," Jenny Abramson, co-lead of the All Raise data team wrote in a blog post.

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Twenty-four-year-old David Dobrik rose to internet fame with a vlog crew known for comedy videos and then quickly used his cache to launch a buzzy camera app that pulled in more than $20 million from investors.

All that good will evaporated in days after allegations of sexual assault by a member of the Vlog Squad came to light. The situation has raised flags about how well investors vetted the startup's founders — and whether VC firms or brands should prepare for these situations when working with young influencers, who are increasingly creating their own brands and companies.

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For years, study after study has shown women — and especially women of color — are underrepresented in tech conference panels, as keynote speakers and in news coverage.

The pandemic has not helped. Instead, as companies have taken their events virtual the "manel" — or all-male panel — has made a comeback, especially in VC and the tech world.

Frustrated that the trend drowns out important female perspectives, CEO Pam Kostka of All Raise, a nonprofit that advocates for female founders, operators and funders in tech, announced Monday a new "Visionary Voices" speakers bureau. In her blog post, headlined "No more manels, no more excuses," Kostka described the bureau as the creation of the tech industry's largest database of female and non-binary "founders, funders and startup operators" so that event organizers and reporters can more easily find them.

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