Frequently asked questions
What is Beyond the Billion/ The Billion Dollar Fund for Women?
The Billion Dollar Fund for Women™ was first built to address the investment gap where women-founded teams receive less than 3% of total venture capital (VC) funding - by mobilizing a global consortium of venture funds committed to investing $1 billion by 2020 in women-founded companies.
In less than a year, over $1 Billion was committed from over 80 funds globally (June 2019). Going Beyond The Billion™, our mission is now to catalyze the larger game of capital, ensuring the continued capacity to invest in women-founded companies by bridging Limited Partner investors (LPs) and VC fund managers (GPs), building a community of institutional investors, sovereign funds, IFIs, DFIs, family offices, wealth managers and high net worth individuals; driving the agenda collectively.
What was The Billion Dollar Fund for Women?
The Billion Dollar Fund for Women (TBDF) was in effect, our first "cohort" of venture funds part of the TBDF Pledge Campaign. Our goal was to first rally the global venture community behind a single message: that investing in women, is good business. With an initial target of $1bn in pledges to be invested by the end of 2020, TBDF achieved this allocation in less than a year with over 70 funds across the globe mobilized. After achieving this milestone, the founders re-established TBDF as Beyond The Billion (BTB), to address the problem even more systematically, including focusing now on mobilizing the Limited Partner (LP) investors that invest in our venture funds and beyond.
What is the role of BTB and its goals?
The ultimate goal of BTB is to fuel high-impact, high-growth innovation by women, by strategically targeting the funding ecosystem (specifically VC funds, and the LP investors into them) which will support their ability to scale their businesses.
For venture funds that make a pledge, BTB provides greater exposure to institutional funders, sovereign funds, wealth managers, family offices, and high net worth investors. BTB connects influential investors and decision-makers who are using their global networks, wide reach, influence and deep expertise in the field to support women-led ventures. Our role, therefore, is in the following:
- Increased exposure to global funders, and an audience of influential decision-makers
- Unique access for LP investors for curated investment sets, into high-performing deals with women-founders at the core
- Access to bigger-picture opportunities towards >$1Bn goal incl. LP/GP convenings, fund marketplaces, structured partnerships
- A global GP network to share best practices, network and scale-up with
- Global awareness via systemic initiatives to propel the agenda forward - and more!
What is BTB's thesis? Is there a prospectus?
Female founders receive less than 3% of VC today, and gender diverse teams still hover around 13%. That means that a majority of all VC funding goes to all-male teams.
Our thesis: BTB believes that the gender venture funding gap is the single largest undervalued opportunity in the market.
Overperformance by women-founded companies and funds that invest in them
Market studies have shown that women consumers feel “vastly underserved”. A growing population of female entrepreneurs and executives are pre-disposed to take advantage of these opportunities through their intuitive understanding of consumer insights and the ability to design solutions and products for this demographic.
Data shows that venture-backed companies run by women had annual revenues that were 12% higher than those run by men, using an average of one-third less committed capital, and had lower failure rates.
Importantly, select data from our global consortium also shows triple revenue growth, with higher retention and profitability rates within their portfolio; resulting in higher returns for LP investors.
Check out our Resources Page for more data on this!
Looking for a prospectus? Are you an LP investor looking to diversify your portfolio? Email us at email@example.com.
While the gender pay gap is well documented, what is not, is the gender investment gap. In the U.S. alone, women-founded companies get less than 3% of venture capital invested. All-women founding startup teams received just $1.9 billion of the $85 billion total invested by venture capitalists last year. This is despite the fact that women-founded teams continue to outperform, with more than twice the revenue per dollar invested, than their all-male counterparts. BTB's approach is unique as it importantly sets the tone for investors to not only commit to lofty ideals but to act upon it – with a dollar amount commitment from each firm. It is also, the first time that such an intiative does not target a single market only such as the US but aims to have a lasting global impact by involving fund partners from many different ecosystems.
Whom is the project seeking to inform and involve? Investors? Grant applicants?
TBDF/BTB mobilizes both the GPs of venture funds and LP investors into them who are seeking to gender diversify their portfolios. We do not provide grants nor loans. Our venture funds are pledged to invest in women-founded companies - defined as companies that are founded by women, where she has comparable equity and decision-making to her male counterparts if she is a co-founder.
Which markets does BTB target?
We target global funds that invest across sectors – from agriculture to AI - because we believe that women are innovating across borders and across sectors.
Who has pledged thus far?
You can find a full list of all funds that have pledged so far here: Our Fund Partners
Can I get in touch with other venture funds in the consortium?
Yes, of course, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org stating your specific ask. We foresee future co-investment between our venture partners.
Will there be opportunities to share deal flow?
BTB's primary role is to provide exposure to our partner funds, which would include opportunities for deal flow sharing in our planned convenings. BTB however does not seek to moderate such sharing of deal flow, although we will provide a platform for our partners which include accelerators, incubators to showcase their women entrepreneurs to our venture partners.
How do I pledge to BTB?
If you’re a venture fund manager/general partner(GP) or limited partner(LP), reach out to us at email@example.com to request a pledge form, or check it out here - we would also love to have a discussion with you on your goals!
How can I contribute to BTB's efforts?
BTB is currently funded by the founders and sponsors, and we would welcome contributions that will support costs in our wider efforts. Please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org for sponsorship details.
Is BTB a nonprofit; are my contributions to BTB tax deductible?
BTB is currently set up as an LLC, but we are currently evaluating with our lawyers the possibilities of a 501c(3) to best support our partners and goals.
What will BTB be focusing on over the next 12 months?
Our focus in Phase 2 (the next 24 months) will be in mobilizing LP investors (private and institutional) and catalyzing capital to our venture funds and beyond.
Would the project buy shares in women-owned businesses, something like Shark Tank?
No, BTB does not “buy shares” nor do we invest directly, but we mobilize venture funds that do. We are also evaluating current structures that would support larger investments into the venture funds that ultimately make direct investments into venture-backable companies.
Will FemTech be a focus?
Our GPs determine the focus of the deal flow and yes, FemTech will be a part of it. We find that women are innovating across the board and driving returns in areas ranging from FemTech, cleantech, fintech, agtech, etc. to Saas, CPG, AI/ML, Robotics, Blockchain, Cannabis etc.
What's surprised you most about BTB?
We were thrilled to receive huge support from almost everyone we reached out to and far exceeded our original goal of mobilizing $100million in two months (for investment through 2020) to announce our initial tranche of $460million, and then to ultimately reach $1billion in under 9 months. Additionally, so many people have mobilized their networks in support of what we’re doing which is essential to make this a truly global enterprise.
How can I get involved in BTB?
Drop us a line at email@example.com!
Questions for Startups
Which kind of WFCs are supported?
BTB partners with venture funds with different investment theses – investing in venture-backable women-founded companies across agtech, fintech, biotech, and more.
Check out our funds page for their criterion. Typically these would include:
(1) A level of traction - ie. revenue, customer demand, beyond "just an idea"
(2) Proven business models, strong top-line growth, unit economics
(3) Differentiated IP and scalable technology platform
(4) Smart cash burn
How can my women-founded company (WFC) apply for funds?
BTB will continue to update our website with our partner funds who are committed to investing in women. Please visit our partner sites to learn about their investment criterion and apply to them directly. In the future, there will be an opportunity to highlight our WFCs at our convenings. We do not make direct investments at this time into startups. We remain focused at the fund level.
How can BTB help me as a female entrepreneur?
BTB takes a macro approach and ultimately addresses the funding ecosystem to develop a larger pool of capital allocated to women-founded companies.
We believe this will have a larger, lasting effect in funds committed to women entrepreneurs. In the future, there will be an opportunity to highlight our WFCs at our convenings. We will also be updating our Resource page regularly, where you can obtain some tips on moving your business forward!
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