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What is Female Founders Fund?

Female Founders Fund is an early-stage fund investing in the next generation of transformational technology companies founded by women. Started by serial entrepreneur Anu Duggal in 2014, FFF’s thesis is that women are building the category-defining companies of tomorrow using their unique insight as consumers. The Fund has been a market leader in identifying the opportunity around investing in women as a thesis.

Female Founders Fund’s value proposition has always been larger than just a pool of capital. Over the past seven years, we have developed an unparalleled ecosystem of resources, events and female technology leaders nationwide. We invest early and believe that we can accelerate your entrepreneurial journey through our breadth of resources and unique community of female operators. To date, we have invested in category leaders led by exceptional founder CEO’s -- companies like Zola (e-commerce), Tala (fintech), Maven Clinic (women’s health), Billie (beauty), Co--Star (astrology), amongst others.

Does FFF invest in particular sectors or industries?

We invest first and foremost in people. We are looking to invest in female founders driven by a strong mission to challenge, shape, and redefine their markets. As a team of female investors, we use our unique lens to spot opportunities and identity cultural shifts which drive our investing philosophy. Our investments fall into the following categories:

Healthcare: We actively invest in companies disrupting the healthcare experience and innovating on existing care-driven models, particularly with preventative care delivery models alongside traditional treatment methods. Specific healthcare investing interests include menopause, preventative care, breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, and longevity.

Beauty & Personal Care: Beauty and personal care is a key sector for FFF and we are particularly interested in science-led innovation in beauty investing, focusing on research-backed products vs. brand-oriented solutions.

Vertical Software Solutions: We are interested in opportunities in vertical enterprise software offerings, targeting underserved industries such as transportation, supply chain, and waste management, and more.

Generative AI & Emerging Technologies: As generative AI continues to touch all aspects of technology, we are excited to continue to dive deeper into this theme this year. The consumerization of AI in particular presents opportunities for innovation across sectors like healthcare, climate tech, enterprise SaaS and more.

Climate Tech: As the importance of addressing climate change continues to touch industries and businesses of all types, we see an opportunity to identify and partner with companies that are innovating and improving in key climate tech verticals such as consumerization of energy, digitization of EV infrastructure, commercial decarbonization, circular economy, and sustainable supply chains, and more.

Which geographies is FFF active in?

Our team is NYC-based with deep roots in the female founder ecosystem in the city. While we are #LongNY, we are geographically agnostic with investments in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and San Francisco, and London.

What stage do you invest and what is your investment criteria?

As seed investors, we invest primarily at the seed-stage (both pre-launch and post-launch). That said, we love to build relationships early and get to know founders months before a formal fundraise. We invest in companies that have at least one female founder as part of the founding team and as an institutional fund, we have the flexibility to lead, co-lead or participate in rounds.

How much do you usually invest in a new company?

Our check sizes range from $500K - $750K.

What is your investment process?

As an entrepreneurial fund, we understand the pain of fundraising and we want to be as efficient with your time as possible. To that end, we do our best to create a transparent investment process designed to be fast, friendly and focused. On average, from first meeting to closing a round, our timeline is roughly 4-6 weeks.

After a first meeting with one of our team members, we will do an internal review and then arrange for you to come in and meet the rest of the team. We will then go into a diligence process on both the industry as well as the founding team which typically lasts several weeks -- sometimes faster, sometimes shorter. This will also involve spending more time with you/your team to understand how you think and what is motivating you to embark on this entrepreneurial journey. We also spend time on your references and get to know others on your team -- advisors, investors, etc.

Post-investment, what support can I expect from FFF beyond money?

Our biggest and most unique value-add is our unparalleled female operator network and ecosystem. By taking our money, you will have access to some of the most well-respected names in female leadership ranging from Mindy Grossman and Melinda Gates, to Whitney Wolfe Herd and Katrina Lake.

In addition to this, our founder-focused programming is widely respected as best-in-class ranging from quarterly press dinners with top-tier journalists, to monthly CEO breakfasts and more. Ultimately as a young fund, we believe your success is our success and we hustle alongside you. Besides always being a text message away, we have built the fastest growing ecosystem of female technology leaders to connect founders with the top product, operating, and branding expertise, resources, talent, customers, and follow-on investors.

You will also be part of a founder group that includes some of the most exciting women tech leaders building transformational companies across industries ranging from digital health to fintech alongside you. The shared learnings across these women will be incredibly helpful in accelerating your path as a female entrepreneur.

Lastly, our goal as your seed investors to help guide you through to the next round of funding. With a proven track record of follow-in investors like Lightspeed, Sequoia, Index, and Maveron, amongst others; we will make warm introductions and help prepare you for the next phase of your growth.

How many investments do you make per year?

On average we make between 6-8 new investments per year.

Do you co-invest with other funds?

Absolutely, especially if they bring in complementary value-add! We’ve co-invested with many of the most well-known seed funds nationwide and make it a point to introduce you to some of our favorite strategic female angel investors for a more diverse cap table.

What are you looking for in a pitch deck?

There are a few key areas that a good pitch deck should cover. Firstly, we want to get to know you and your founding team -- what makes you special and uniquely qualified for solving your particular problem? Secondly, market size and competition are crucial to demonstrate you have done your homework. Thirdly, unit economics need to reflect that you have a strong understanding of the levers that drive your business model. Lastly, what is your long-term vision for this business and how do you plan to get there? If you can cover this in one deck, it will make for a great starting conversation!

What do you look for in a founding team?

As seed investors, we are investing first and foremost in people. We want to understand: what is your superpower? How are you uniquely positioned to win in this category? Do you have the ability to make good decisions in a short period of time? What in your track record demonstrates a pattern of success in taking risk and having good judgement? Most importantly, are you resilient and able to weather the ups and downs of the entrepreneurial journey? A few other founder characteristics we find important: curiosity, and the way that you respond to feedback. When selling a story, are you able to convince potential employees, investors, advisors and customers to believe in your vision?

Who are the investors behind Female Founders Fund?

We have assembled a world-class group of like-minded investors including both institutions and individuals. A few of our strategic investors include Bumble Fund, Anne Wojcicki, Susan Wojcicki, Melinda Gates, and Katrina Lake. We are also incredibly lucky to also count many of FFF’s founders as investors in our fund.

How do I get in touch with Female Founders Fund?

For pitches:
Submit using this typeform - https://fcubed.typeform.com/pitches

For press inquiries:
Email press@femalefoundersfund.com

For general inquiries:
Email hello@femalefoundersfund.com

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