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Anu Duggal on COVID-19, promoting diversity and building a fund

It has been nearly a decade since Anu Duggal, founding partner of Female Founders Fund, started raising money to invest in women-led startups. In 2020, the investor says her thesis — that there will be a generation of successful venture-backed businesses built by women — is one you can’t avoid.

“You can’t argue with that anymore,” she said. “There are going to be some people who take a little longer to kind of accept that this is a long-term development, and there’s some that have recognized this is the future.”

We brought Duggal on to Extra Crunch Live on Thursday to discuss how her work is changing amid unprecedented times.

She, like many investors, says she has taken on the “new normal as the new normal” and is invested in startups without ever meeting founders in-person. But how does the breakdown of traditional networks impact female founders?

“I wouldn’t say we’re seeing new tailwinds yet,” she said, on the focus to invest in female founders. “I think we’re still kind of in the early innings of corona. I will say, though, that there’s reason to be optimistic.”

Duggal talks about bright spots in this dumpster fire of a year, scout programs and the “lipstick effect” in the full session, which is available below. You can sign up for Extra Crunch here if you still need access.

Should investors publicly share portfolio diversity data?

We felt strongly about disclosing diversity data because, you know, we invest 100% in companies started by women and so we’re already at somewhat of an advantage compared to most of the industry. I think the reason we did it was to show that we’re not patting ourselves on the back. We still have more work to do. And here’s what we’re going to do, here are the action steps we’re taking.

Source: TechCrunch


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