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Aspect Ventures Theresia Gouw

Diversity more important than funding females

18 May, 2015

In an interview with Silicon Valley Business Journal Gouw talks about deal flow:

About 40 percent of our companies have female founders. About 60 percent are all men. Exabeam, for instance, isn’t just an all-male founding team. It’s an all-male company. That’s very representative of the deal flow that we get. We definitely get great early first looks at female-led companies…about 20 percent of founding teams in technology have a female founder or co-founder on it. We are clearly seeing deal flow that’s about double that.

Will Aspect remain a female-only firm?

Definitely not. We’ve seen all the data that says that having diversity in a board room and in a founding team leads to increased success in financial outcomes. That is partially gender diversity, but it’s also other things. It also means having some tech and product people as well as sales and go-to-market expertise, and having a mix of investors and operators. Our goal with Aspect Ventures, just as with our portfolio, is to simply build the best early stage- and Series A-focused venture capital firm.

On positioning:

We think that there is a real opportunity to bridge from the seed stage to the larger later stage. So that’s been a focus. And we collaborate, trying to bring syndication to Series A deals. Bringing syndication to Series A investments has been very well received both by the seed and investor community which have provided us with many, many leads. We have also been well-received by larger venture firms, who appreciate partnering with someone who is more flexible on writing potentially a $2 million to $5 million check, and not necessarily needing to be a $10 million investor. That is actually welcome by a lot of larger firms.