May 20, 2021

Italian Angels for Growth and Angels for Women in support of female entrepreneurship

Italian Angels for Growth (IAG), the largest network of Italian business angels who invest time and capital for the growth of innovative start-ups, and Angels for Women (A4W), an association of business angels, unique in Italy, focused on early-stage investments in women-led start-ups, promoted by AXA Italia and Impact Hub Società Benefit, have signed an agreement to encourage the participation of members in both networks.

The agreement responds to the need of business angels to be exposed to a greater number of investment proposals, even very different from each other, to increasingly professionalize their activities as investors; the enlargement of the networks is also functional to bridge the
still very significant gap between female and male founders when it comes to their ability to raise funds, a disparity that the Covid-19 pandemic threatens to increase further.

As highlighted by The State of European Tech 2020 (Atomico) report, 2020 shows small signs of positive change on early-stage investments: a "record" number of women's rounds have raised between $10M and $50M. For rounds under $10M, the share seems to hover around 6%. However, the figures are bleak at a later stage: no round over $50M was closed by an all-women team.

The share of rounds raised by gender-diverse founders varies from country to country in Europe. Looking at the total distribution of closed rounds since 2016, it is worth noting that Southern European countries such as Portugal, Italy and Spain are performing better in terms of gender diversity than other Northern European countries such as Denmark and the Netherlands. Results that need to be supported with concrete actions by leveraging talent and innovation skills to have a positive impact on society.

"We are very pleased to have signed this agreement with Angels4Women. Together we will support women's teams in accessing capital to create a more diverse and inclusive industry and bring out the growth and expansion potential of initiatives led and supported by women. A commitment not only through capital, but more importantly through our partners' unique mix of skills, experience, and relationships. In addition, thanks to this partnership we will try to reduce the diversity gap within the investment community, to increase the percentage of female business angels, stable at 11% as shown by the Venture Capital Monitor 2020" - says Antonio Leone, President of Italian Angels for Growth.

"The agreement between IAG and A4W we think is essential, because it represents a partnership between groups of business angels who demonstrate the importance of making a system and invest in female entrepreneurship, a sector still too underrepresented. Angels4Women is the only group of business angels in Italy that invests exclusively in women-led start-ups and we are confident that the agreement with IAG will further strengthen the leadership of the association in the field of investment in female entrepreneurship" - says Lorenza Morandini - Managing Director and member of the Board of Directors of Angels4Women.