European tech has a diversity problem, and the stats speak for themselves. But with data seemingly coming from all directions, how do you begin to get clued up on the numbers?
Sifted’s compiled a list of the key stats and figures you need to know. From the experiences of female founders trying to fundraise to the state of diversity in VC funding, here’s an overview of diversity in European tech.
The state of VC
- A measly 1% of VC funding went to all-female teams in 2022
- Only 0.25% of VC funding went to Black founders between 2009-19 in the UK
- 15% of VC general partners in Europe are women, according to a 2022 survey by European Women in VC
- 12.9% of general partners at funds backed by Germany’s KfW are women
- Only 1.4% of unicorns are founded by a team of ethnic minority founders
- A tiny 0.7% of unicorn funding is raised by those same ethnic minority teams
- 10 — the number of Black female founders who picked up funding between 2009 and 2019 in the UK
- £500m — the amount investors are missing out on in annual returns by not backing disabled founders
- “When it first started, the big problem was that people didn’t even know it was a problem. And if they’d been told about it, they didn’t really believe it or accept it,” says Balderton’s Suranga Chandratillake on being part of Diversity VC, an organisation working to diversify the industry since 2017.
- 20.3% of founders in the startup ecosystem in Germany are women
- Only 13% of Web3 founding teams include a woman
- 84% of disabled founders feel they don’t have the same access to funding and opportunities as able-bodies peers
- 75% of UK founders come from advantaged socioeconomic backgrounds
- 72% of top management positions at Europe’s leading neobanks are held by men
- At those same neobanks, women hold just 26% of board positions — a whole 10% below the 37% benchmark of legacy banks
- 86% of angel investors in the UK are men
- Two thirds of UK unicorns had a pay gap worse than the national average in 2022
- 75% of LGBTQ+ founders feel they have to hide their identity from investors
- 56% of ethnic minority founders said access to capital was their biggest challenge in 2022, compared to 41% of white founders
- 36% of female founders named getting access to capital as their biggest challenge in 2022, compared to 24% of male founders.
- 70p — what female startup employees earned for every £1 their male colleagues earned in 2022 in the UK
- Women represent 41.6% of layoffs between October 2022 and February 2023, despite making up just over a third of the tech workforce
- 25% — how much less female founders pay themselves, compared to male founders
- 30% — how much less women in UK tech are paid compared to male colleagues. In Germany, it’s 23% less, and 16% less in France.
- What it’s like to fundraise while pregnant — six founders share their stories
- What’s it like to fundraise as an ethnic minority founder?
- EU startups boss: Diversity quotas are a “necessary step”
- Here’s what life as a female founder of colour is like in Germany — hint: it’s rife with discrimination
- How to throw an inclusive holiday social
- How to hire for diversity
Things can only get better
- £3.6bn — the amount raised by UK startups with at least one female cofounder in 2022, up from £2.9bn in 2021, according to the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology
- Unconventional Ventures, launched in July 2022, is specifically set up to support underrepresented founders: it has €30m to invest in founders identifying as women, people of colour, immigrants and/or members of the LGTBQ+ community
- 7% of rounds less than $5m were raised by all-female teams in France in 2022, up from 3% in 2018, according to Atomico’s State of European Tech report 2022
- 9% of rounds less than $5m were raised by all-female teams in Germany in 2022, up from 5% in 2021
- 10% of rounds less than $5m were raised by all-female teams in the UK in 2022, up from 6% in 2021
- 17% of deals over the past five years in Portugal were closed by mixed-gender founding teams, the highest in Europe
Who you need to know
- Five female and multicultural founders to watch in 2023
- 2022's funded fintechs with female CEOs
- A list of 350+ female partners investing in Europe
- 150+ female angel investors supporting European startups
- 100+ diversity in tech communities in Europe
- Dr Johannes Lenhard argues that the people with the privilege in the VC industry — namely white men — need to step up and take responsibility
- Hybrid work management startup Offishall’s cap table is 60% female — but cofounder and CEO Audrey Barbier-Litvak says some VCs didn’t care, and others tried to dissuade her from finding female investors
- Former Head of DEI for Bolt Laura Smith argues that a head of diversity, equity and inclusion might not be the best decision for every team, as it takes a lot more than one person to tackle the problem.
- As a gay man, Christer Holloman, founder and CEO of fintech Divido, thought he’d have diversity nailed — but quickly realised that wasn’t the case
- Erika Brodnock and Johannes Lenhard, authors of Better Venture, call out VCs for using the lack of diversity data as a stalling tactic to put off taking action
- When was the last time anyone asked for proof that white men make good CEOs? The same applies to making a business case for diversity, argues founder and CEO of Fearless Futures Hanna Naima McCloskey
- Founder of entrepreneurship coaching and training startup GuessWorks Hattie Willis thinks startups getting initial funds from friends and family is counterproductive to improving the industry’s diversity
- “Investors said my male cofounder’s name 117 times — mine only 16.” Cofounder of deeptech CAPSLOCK, Lorna Armitage, shares her experience of sexism in VC