Women Investing in Women


Written by: Kelly Fisher


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Venture capital firms and venture funds are notoriously dominated by men, resulting in a gendered misbalance of what companies these firms invest in. Rethink Impact is a new VC fund—founded by women and investing in companies that must have women on their executive board.  

Rethink Impact is a venture capital firm in the U.S. that focuses on investing in companies that use technology to address society’s most daunting problems.  The companies they invest in are impact driven, trying to create real and tangible change in our society.  

Sounds pretty cool right?   

Wait until you learn that Rethink Impact is also founded by women, and the companies they invest in must have a woman on the executive board as well.   

Venture capital firms and venture funds are notoriously dominated by men.  This has also resulted in a gendered misbalance of what companies these firms invest in. 

In the first quarter of 2020, only 4.3 percent of all venture investments were in start-ups founded by women. 

These numbers however do show larger overall positive trends.  In 2019 just 2.8% of venture capital investments were in women-founded teams, which was up from 2.2% in 2018.  Funds like Rethink Impact, and the investments they make will certainly make larger ripple effects to help address this disparity.   

Women for Women 

Rethink Impact was founded in 2016 by Jenny Abramson and Heidi Patel.  Their goal is not only to invest in companies that are making a difference, but by investing in companies that have women on their boards, they are also trying to close the gender pay gap.  Some of their other investment focuses also include companies which are rethinking healthcare, education, economic opportunity, and environmental sustainability.   

Rethink Impact first caught my eyes this fall when I saw that they had smashed their fundraising goals for Q2.  The firm fundraised 182 million dollars, surpassing its goal by 32 million dollars.   They, along with female founded venture funds such as Impact America, represent the ways in which women are challenging the skewed gender make up of venture capital firms and what types of companies they invest in.   

Since Rethink Impact was founded in 2016 it has been a key investor in several influential start-ups.  Some of the start-ups they have invested in include Guild Education, a group that partners with companies to offer education programs sponsored by the employer, change.org, and many others as well.   

As a venture-capital firm which is not only engaged in trying to create profits, but also create positive societal change, they also proudly boast some of those numbers.  They include 56,000,000 people who have been taught critical life skills, and 7,400,000 people who have been sensed for air quality.  Oh, and you can’t forget the last number they like to show off, 100%, the percentage of companies in their portfolio have at least one woman on their executive team.   

Where We Step In

SHE Community strives to end gender inequality by focusing on closing the gender wage gap.  This is something that will require energy and action on many different fronts, including the investment world.  It is for this reason why SHE Community focuses on investing with our programs like SHE Invests.  Investments, and in particular investments in women run companies, will help to boost women’s role and the influence they have in these different sectors. •