Despite clear outperformance, women innovators lack access to capital. We rallied the venture community to pledge $1 billion towards women-founders – and this goal was met in under 9 months! Now, we’re going BEYOND THE BILLION – focused on driving capital to and with venture funds investing into women, to drive returns through diversity.


The Billion Dollar Fund for Women (TBDF) was launched at the World Bank meetings in Bali in October 2018 with an audacious goal of catalyzing $1 billion dollars into the hands of female founders globally, addressing the gender venture investment gap where women were receiving only 2.2% of all venture capital funding. In less than a year, TBDF mobilized a global consortium of more than 80 venture funds committed to investing $1 billion dollars in women-founded companies.

Building on this momentum, founders Shelly Porges and Sarah Chen-Spellings launched Beyond The Billion (BTB) to catalyze capital deployed to and with these venture funds, and ensure continued investment by mobilizing limited partners (LPs) and connecting them to general partners (GPs) who invest in venture-backable companies founded by diverse women.



Launched to address the gender venture funding gap where female founders were only receiving 2.2% of venture capital, the campaign was the first-of-its-kind global capital commitment campaign focused on gender-lens investing, a bold measure to inspire venture capitalists to pledge to invest more into female-founded companies.

This report, published with support from Pacific Western Bank, Mastercard, Bank of America and Motley Fool Ventures, found that the consortium deployed 61% of their pledged amount in just two years into almost 800 companies—nine of which were recognized as unicorns at the time, with the remainder expected to be deployed by 2023. An additional analysis from a sample size of 479 of the deals tracked by the consortium’s data partner,

PitchBook, showed that these portfolio companies with female founders, have gone on to raise more than $4 billion within the timeframe of the 2018-2020 pledge campaign.

This report presents both qualitative and quantitative data to specifically answer three core questions:

  • How impactful was ‘Our First Billion’ campaign? That is, how much of the $1 billion pledged by 86 venture funds was deployed by December 31, 2020, and what were the trends observed from such data? 
  • What can GPs do to better fuel women-led innovation?
  • What can LPs do to better back GPs who over-index into female founders?


Insight #1

Limited Partner

LP investors, even those committed to investing in diversity, must re-engineer their processes to increase the diversity of their portfolios.

A mismatch exists between legacy LP structures and expressed goals to diversify portfolios showing that systemic bias requires systemic solutions. Despite the best of intentions to back both diverse fund managers and those who invest into diversity, LP investment profile constraints such as check size and track record requirements hinder the ability of emerging fund managers to attract capital.

Insight #2

The issues faced by general partners (GPs) mirror the issues of LPs with systemic barriers being a core.
There is no “pipeline problem” when it comes to funds seeking female founder dealflow.
Rather, fundraising is by far, one of the biggest challenges faced by fund managers investing into female founders.

Almost half of all funds (48%) that were part of this pledge campaign shared how they greatly underestimated what it took to raise their funds; especially if they were deemed to be within the Emerging Manager category (which many LPs define to be Funds I,II, or III). Despite the fund manager’s experience in brand name firms and robust deal flow of female founders, many were hindered from timely deployment due to delays on the fundraising end.
Insight #3

Fundraising while a female founder, is still an experience mired in systemic bias.

Female founders interviewed shared how they had experienced biased lines of questioning and noted how the vast majority of investors’ examples of past patterns of success were almost exclusively referencing male founders. They were encouraged by encountering investors who recognized the opportunity to invest in female founders as a chance to improve their returns and who had committed to this as part of their investment strategy.

Anna Snider

Managing Director and Head of CIO Due Diligence, Bank of America

“It is now a well-known fact that diverse allocators tend to allocate more capital to women and diverse founders compared with non-diverse allocators.  In my role as head of manager selection, we have focused on looking at the diversity of the investment managers who are allocating capital to women and diverse founders.  Our clients, both individual and institutional, are demanding greater transparency about how their capital is being allocated.  

We are of course being driven by this demand, but also by our belief that it is important to:

1) ensure that diversity across one’s portfolio not only relates to asset class and sector, but reflects the full universe of investable businesses 

2) provide access to businesses that are transformative to our economies and communities and 

3) provide clients with access to the returns that women and diverse owned founders can generate.  To this end, we have doubled down  on efforts to not only source investments that reflect Bank of America’s $250mm+ commitment to inclusive development, but have incorporated DEI criteria into our  investment conviction in the managers in whom we entrust client capital. 

Our Journey

From the Billion Dollar Fund for Women (TBDF)

2022 & Beyond

Decabillion Initiative Engaging LPs Continue across the Globe


From North America to Asia, BTB continues to convene ultra/high net-worth individuals, family offices, strategic corporates and institutional investors to back women-founded companies and the funds that invest in them

2022 & Beyond

Dec 2021

BTB Publishes Our First Billion Report, $638 Million Deployed


Dec 2021

Nov 2021

Female Founders Continue to Shatter Grounds BTB Reports with Pitchbook:


showing female founders shattering previous records

Nov 2021

Oct 2021

President Clinton celebrates Beyond The Billion at Global Inclusive Growth Summit


Oct 2021

Nov 2020

BTB Inks Partnership with Pitchbook as the Voice of Credibility for Women-Led Innovation:


showing how female founders exiting quicker & at higher valuations, despite the pandemic

Nov 2020

March 2020

BTB Turns Virtual with Mastercard & Booz Allen Hamilton:


As the pandemic hits, BTB engages the community of LPs and GPs by launching the Billion Dollar Byte series and hosts multiple GP-LP Virtual Convenings and GP “Off-The-Record” Capital Calls

March 2020

Oct 2019

TBDF Turns One, Named Fast Company Finalist, Announces Beyond The Billion


TBDF rally over 86 venture capital funds to take the pledge, and announce evolution to Beyond The Billion to continue the work upon meeting $1 billion pledge goal

Oct 2019

June 2019

In under 9 months, $1 Billion Pledge Goal Achieved Announced in Paris


$1 billion in pledges announced in a collaboration with AXA and The Financial Alliance for Women: The Billion Dollar Breakfast, Paris attracted more than 200 leaders and decision-makers in finance and venture capital

June 2019

March 2019

TBDF Mobilizes Pledges with a Tactical Global Outreach Campaign


From being featured on the Wall Street Journal to the United Nations, TBDF built momentum around investing in women-founded companies

March 2019

Oct 2018

Launch of The Billion Dollar Fund for Women


The Billion Dollar Fund for Women (TBDF) launch at World Bank Meetings in Bali, Indonesia making global headlines

Oct 2018