True Wealth Ventures raises fund to again women-led startups

Sara Model and Kerry Rupp of Austin, Texas-based True Wealth Ventures defy many developments within the enterprise capital world. The traders, who raised $19.1 million for his or her first fund in 2018, have simply closed on $35 million in new capital for his or her agency’s second fund.

In an ecosystem the place women make up just 2.4% of partners at venture firms, and contemplating that the overwhelming majority of first-time funds by no means really make it to closing, Model and Rupp are used to beating the chances. Their funding method is simply as distinctive within the VC world as their backgrounds: they make investments completely in seed-stage startups led by girls, which they outline as having at the very least one girl with “signifcant decision-making energy” on the founding or govt group of the corporate.

Their technique is a rarity in mild of the truth that less than 2% of venture capital funding went to all-female founding teams last year, marking a five-year low. True Wealth’s portfolio from Fund I accommodates firms together with cognitive well being startup BrainCheck and kelp and seaweed producer Atlantic Sea Farms. 

“We had been the biggest fund ever raised with an express gender variety technique for our Fund I,” Rupp stated. “We had been actually early to the market, and after we had that type of natural press again within the day about the truth that we’re writing checks to girls entrepreneurs, and the way uncommon that was, we simply had a firehose of incoming deal movement that lasted for years, frankly.”

Along with its deal with women-led firms, True Wealth Ventures additionally solely invests in firms they imagine are making a optimistic influence in both well being or sustainability, Model and Rupp informed TechCrunch. The agency has a zero loss ratio from Fund I, the pair added, which means the entire firms it has invested in are nonetheless operational — no small feat for a bunch of early-stage startups which have needed to climate a world pandemic.

For his or her second fund, Model and Rupp will largely proceed with the identical technique from Fund I, sticking to creating about 15 investments in complete after making 12 out of the primary fund, they stated.

One key distinction with this new fund, they continued, is their plan to jot down bigger checks this time round — as much as $1 million per funding in comparison with the ~$500,000 common investments True Wealth’s first fund made. 

“Now, we wish to have the ability to write as much as 1,000,000 {dollars} [per] first examine, as a result of we do often lead the offers, take a board seat, and take a giant position. We now have lots of conviction round our investments and have a comparatively concentrated portfolio,” Model stated.

Fund II has already invested in three firms since its first shut in Might final 12 months: trucking and aerospace firm Aeromutable, mobility system producer De Oro Devices and well being and diet platform Flourish, in accordance with Rupp and Model. Of these firms’ six complete co-founders, half of whom are girls, two are Black, two are LatinX and one is Native American, they added.

True Wealth additionally plans to convey on its first full-time worker exterior of Rupp and Model themselves, an affiliate who will begin subsequent month, in accordance with the companions. Its group already leverages its community of enterprise fellows and interns to assist with sourcing and diligence, they added.

Whereas they initially set out completely centered on backing girls founders, the duo has discovered a “secondary mission” in educating girls restricted companions, who make choices largely on behalf of household workplaces, and foundations, on how you can put money into enterprise capital. Greater than 80% of the LPs in each funds are girls, Model defined.

“We really did a ballot of our LPs and came upon that of these girls, the overwhelming majority had by no means invested in a enterprise capital fund earlier than, and the overwhelming majority of these girls had by no means been invited to put money into a enterprise fund earlier than,” Model stated. “We realized, looking back, that appears apparent with the shortage of girls in VC funds making funding choices, and the shortage of girls entrepreneurs getting VC {dollars}. That is only a very male-dominated ecosystem.”

The agency hosts instructional occasions in group settings to coach LPs about enterprise capital’s threat profile, capital prices and construction, in addition to to introduce these traders to their portfolio founders.

“We expect that variety of the LP base feeds into our priorities and what our traders care about, and the options we wish to see on the planet and subsequently what we put money into … When girls come into elevated wealth, they reinvest that into their household and neighborhood’s well being, schooling and welfare at twice the speed of males,” Rupp defined.

Correction: As of July seventh, 2022, this story has been up to date to replicate that half of the fund’s portfolio founders are girls, not all six.

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