One year ago, Fortune published research showing that just 4.2% of decision-makers at venture capital firms were female. It was a distressing finding, although not terribly surprising to anyone who has spent time in the industry’s khaki-covered corridors.
This week we decided to update and expand on our data, in order to see how things have, or haven’t, changed. The past 12 months has seen a lot of hand-wringing over the dearth of female investors, including by Newsweek in its controversial new cover story on sexism in Silicon Valley. But did any of it have an impact?
In short, no.
Last year’s report focused on “decision-makers” at U.S.-based venture capital firms that had raised at least one fund of $200 million or more, dating back to 2009. We basically researched the number of female senior partners at each firm (primarily utilizing firm websites and SEC filings) or, when the terminology differed, the most senior “layer” of investment professionals (sometimes that was “general partner” or “managing partner” or “partner,” etc.). It found 542 such decision-makers, but only 23 of them were female (4.2%).
That exact same sample of VC firms currently has 546 decision-makers, of which 24 are female. In other words, these 92 firms — which managed over $60 billion — had added only one female senior partner in the past year, despite all of the media attention (read: shaming) and discussion at industry conferences.
However, we wanted to get a broader understanding of the landscape. So we asked data provider Pitchbook to send us a list of every U.S. VC firm that has raised a fund of $100 million or more since 2009. This expanded our universe to 191 firms that had raised around $114 billion for 305 funds during the time period.
Within this broader group (inclusive of the original cohort), we found that 5.6% of decision-makers were women. In other words, women have slightly better representation in the upper echelons of smaller funds, than in larger ones.
We also looked at the overall number of female investment professionals within the larger group, no matter their level of seniority. The result here was that nearly 10% of all investment professionals (168 of 1,687) were women.
Pitchbook also sent over its own research, which took a broader view of “decision-maker.” It also finds that firms raising smaller funds are more likely to have senior female partners than are firms that raise larger funds, and also finds a small bump in senior female partners at newer firms than at firms founded prior to 2009.
To date, we have seen much more talk than action.
• Update: The New Jersey State Treasury yesterday released its (very) long-awaited auditor’s report, related to allegations that VC firm General Catalyst violated state pay-to-play rules when it did not list Charlie Baker on disclosure forms prior to the state buying an LP stake in General Catalyst’s sixth fund. For the uninitiated, Baker was an ‘executive-in-residence’ with GC who since has gone on to become Governor of Massachusetts.
The auditor cleared GC and Baker of any wrongdoing, but not because he agreed with their assertions that he was not an investment professional. Instead, the auditor said that while Baker did indeed serve as an investment professional with GC’s fifth fund, he could find no evidence that Baker served as an investment professional on GC’s sixth fund, in which NJ invested.
I’ll delve deeper into this on the website today but, from my reading of the statute, the auditor found a loophole that doesn’t actually exist. The rules talk about being investment professionals who are “associated” with a “firm,” not with a particular fund.
• On my desk: Yes, there has been a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against a notable Silicon Valley venture capitalist. Not ignoring it, just haven’t had time to read through it carefully yet. Getting there, I promise…
• Have a great weekend… Go Pats!
THE BIG DEAL
• Shake Shack Inc., a New York-based premium burger restaurant chain, raised $105 million in its IPO. The company priced 5 million shares at $21 per share (above upwardly-revised $17-$19 range), for an initial market cap of approximately $746 million, were it to price in the middle of its revised range. Shake Shack plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol SHAK, with J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley serving as lead underwriters. The company reports $3.5 million in net income on $83.7 million in revenue for the 39 weeks ending Sept. 24, 2014, compared to $4.4 million in net income on $59.5 million in revenue for the year-earlier period. Shareholders include Leonard Green (30.5% pre-IPO stake). Read more.
VENTURE CAPITAL DEALS
• Spotify, the Stockholm-based streaming music service, has hired Goldman Sachs to help it raise up to $500 million in new financing at around an $8 billion valuation, according to the FT. Such a deal could help Spotify delay going public by a year. Spotify previously raised over $530 million in VC funding, plus secured a $200 million line of credit last March. Read more.
• Cyanogen Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based developer of Android operating systems, is raising around $70 million in new VC funding with Microsoft expected to be among the investors, according to the WSJ. The company previously raised around $30 million from Benchmark, Redpoint Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Tencent. Read more.
• D-Wave Systems Inc., a Canadian quantum computing company, has raised C$29 million in new VC funding. No investors were identified, but the company previously raised more than $150 million from groups like Bezos Expeditions and In-Q-Tel. www.dawavesys.com
• MileIQ, a San Francisco-based “smart mileage tracker” for reimbursable miles, has raised $11 million in new VC funding. Trinity Ventures led the round, and was joined by seed backers like CRV, SV Angel and Marc Benioff. www.mileiq.com
• Cargomatic, a Venice, Calif.-based provider of on-demand trucking services (i.e., Uber for cargo), has raised $8 million in Series A funding. Canaan Partners led the round, and was joined by Volvo Group Venture Capital, Morado Venture Partners, SV Angel, Sherpa Ventures, Winklevoss Capital, Structure Capital and individual angels. www.cargomatic.com
• FullContact, a Denver–based provider of contact management solutions for both consumers and developers, has raised $7 million in Series B funding. Foundry Group led the round, and was joined by Blue Note Ventures and return backer Foundry Group. Read more.
• Bench, a Vancouver-based online bookkeeping service, has raised C$7 million in Series A funding. Altos Ventures led the round, and was joined by Contour Venture Partners. www.bench.co
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Battery Ventures has agreed to acquire control stakes in Monterey, Calif.-based testing and measurement equipment maker Lansmont Corp. and its Team Corp. subsidiary for an undisclosed amount. No financial terms were disclosed. www.battery.com
• Eurazeo has offered to acquire Materne SAS, the French maker of GoGo Squeez fruit purees, for around €800 million, according to Bloomberg. Materne is currently controlled by LBO France. Read more.
• Solis Capital Partners has acquired an equity stake in ML Kishigo Manufacturing Co., a Santa Ana, Calif.–based manufacturer of industrial safety garments. No financial terms were disclosed. www.mlkishigo.com
• Avinger Inc., a Redwood City, Calif.-based maker of catheters for treating peripheral artery disease, raised $65 million in its IPO. The company priced 5 million shares (up from 4.62m) at $13 per share (middle of $12-$14 range), for an initial market cap of approximately $128 million. The company will trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol AVGR, while Canaccord Genuity and Cowen & Co. served as co-lead underwriters. Avinger reports a net loss of nearly $24 million on $8.1 million in revenue for the first nine months of 2014. Shareholders include Donald Lucas. www.avinger.com
• Dustin, a Swen-based electronics retailer owned by Altor Equity Partners, is prepping an IPO, according to a Swedish news report. Read more.
• Spark Therapeutics, a Philadelphia-based developer of one-time gene therapy products, raised $161 million in its IPO. The company priced 7 million shares at $23 per share, compared to its upwardly-revised plans to offer 6.5 million shares at between $19 and $21 per share. The company’s initial market cap is approximately $540 million. It will trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol ONCE, while J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse served as co-lead underwriters. Shareholders include Sofinnova Ventures (11.45% pre-IPO stake), Baker Brothers (7.63%), Brookside, Deerfield Management, Rock Springs Capital, T. Rowe Price, Wellington Management, and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. www.sparktx.com
• Alliance Consumer Growth has agreed to sell Krave Jerky, a Sonoma, Calif.-based maker of gourmet meat jerky, to The Hershey Co. (NYSE: HSY). No financial terms were disclosed. www.kravejerky.com
• KRG Capital Partners has hired Harris Williams & Co. to find a buyer for Marquette Transportation Co., a Paducah, Ky.–based towboat operator that could be valued at more than $1 billion, according to Reuters. Suitors include MSD Capital, the family office of Michael Dell. Read more.
• SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI) has acquired Librato, a San Francisco-based cloud monitoring company, for $40 million in cash. Librato had raised over $5 million in VC funding from firms like Baseline Ventures, Cowboy Ventures and Harrison Metal. www.librato.com
• The Macquarie Group is in talks to acquire the commodities and financial derivatives brokerage of Jefferies Group, according to Reuters. Read more.
• Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX) has entered into a “stalking horse” agreement to acquire certain assets of Dendreon Corp., including prostate-cancer drug Provenge, for $296 million in cash. Read more.
FIRMS & FUNDS
• No firm or fund news this morning.
MOVING IN, UP, ON & OUT
• Jay Chandler has joined Evercore as a senior managing director of equity capital markets. He previously was head of capital markets for Liquidnet. www.evercore.com
• Randy Churchill has joined Square 1 Bank as a senior VP focused on tech banking efforts in Los Angeles and Orange County. He previously was with Cooley LLP. www.square1bank.com
• Niles Ho has joined Wu Capital, a Beijing-based family office for Longfor Properties, as an investment director. He previously spent more than 7 years as an investment director with private equity firm CDH Investments (most recently in Hong Kong).
• Mid Europa Partners has promoted Pawel Padusinski to partner, Manish Mittal to partner and COO, Robert Chmelar to director, Gyozo Lantos to associate and Helena Lehtmets to operations executive. www.mideuropa.com
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