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Cleo Capital sets $10M target to fund female entrepreneurs


Sarah Kunst has filed to lift $10 million for her debut enterprise capital fund, Cleo Capital. In response to Axios, the agency will give money to feminine entrepreneurs who will act as scouts. 

Scouts search for viable early-stage startups for corporations to put money into after which obtain a reduce of the earnings on the investments. Kunst, pictured above, is a scout for Sequoia; it’s unclear if that may change now that she’s working her personal agency. She’s additionally the founding father of ProDay, a health tech startup that had raised at the very least $500,000 from angel buyers, together with Arielle Zuckerberg, however folded earlier this yr.

We’ve reached out to Kunst for remark.

Cleo isn’t the one female-focused fund with which Kunst is concerned. She joined Bumble as a senior adviser in February, and earlier this month, the favored relationship app announced the launch of a VC fund concentrating on early-stage startups with girls on the helm. Kunst is co-leading fund technique alongside Bumble’s COO, Sarah Jones Simmer.

It’s no shock Kunst is working to deploy capital to the subsequent technology of female-founded firms. She’s been actively championing feminine and minority founders at the very least for the final a number of years and was one of the crucial vocal within the business throughout tech’s #MeToo second.

She spoke to The New York Times final yr about her expertise with 500 Startups founder Dave McClure, who despatched her inappropriate messages on Fb in 2014. McClure followed up with a public apology within the type of a Medium put up titled “I’m a creep. I’m sorry,” and shortly after resigned from the accelerator. 

Kunst spoke at TechCrunch Disrupt last year a couple of months after The New York Instances piece was revealed. On a panel centered on variety in tech, she referred to as out tech founders for an absence of numerous hiring practices: “I do that loopy factor that’s hiring people who aren’t simply white dudes. It really works actually nice — you guys ought to strive it,” she stated.

In 2017, solely 11.three p.c of companions at VC corporations have been girls, in line with PitchBook information. Feminine founders, in the meantime, raised simply 2.2 p.c of all enterprise funding.

On the intense facet, it seems to be like extra girls are fundraising on the opposite facet of the desk. Ladies-run VC corporations have gathered almost $2.5 billion thus far this yr, placing them on tempo to surpass final yr’s decade excessive of $three.2 billion. That features Cowboy Ventures’ $95 million fundraise and Facet Ventures’ $181 million sophomore car. Cowboy is led by Aileen Lee, a former companion at Kleiner Perkins, whereas Facet is co-led by former Draper Fisher Jurvetson managing director Jennifer Fonstad and former Accel companion Theresia Gouw.



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