8 Best Women-friendly VC Firms from Asia

By: GWL Team | Sunday, 2 April 2023

Access to funding is a significant challenge for many women entrepreneurs. Women have trouble getting finance for their enterprises for several reasons. The prevalence of gender stereotypes that portray women as less capable or serious than their male colleagues is one issue that may make it more difficult for women to obtain financing.

Because there is a general trend of underrepresentation of women in access to funding, the proportion of male and female entrepreneurs who receive funding differs across different countries and regions in Asia.

According to a survey by the Asian Development Bank, just 10% of women-owned small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) in Asia can obtain formal funding, making it extremely difficult for them to start their businesses.

In terms of venture capital funding, data from the Asian Venture Capital Journal (AVCJ) indicates that women-led startups in Asia received only 8.5% of total venture capital funding in 2020. This indicates a significant gap in access to funding for women entrepreneurs.

It's worth noting that there are significant variations across different countries and regions in Asia, that aim at providing funding and support. We bring 8 VC firms/funds that give all their support to women-led startups with their funds and guidance.

Cocoon Capital- Singapore

A venture capital company called Cocoon Capital seeks to assist and finance Southeast Asian early-stage entrepreneurs and a women-only VC firm is one of its distinctive features. It is strongly committed to investing in companies that are headed by women or that have a leadership team that is very diverse in terms of gender. Michael Blakey and Will Klippgen, the founders of Cocoon Capital, were aware of the underrepresentation of women in the startup ecosystem and the financing gap that existed for female entrepreneurs.

To close this gap, they founded Cocoon Capital. Startups in industries including enterprise software, fintech, and education technology are among those that Cocoon Capital focuses on investing in. Cocoon Capital is contributing to the development of an inclusive startup ecosystem by investing in women-led firms.

Her Capital- Singapore

Her Capital is a Singapore-based, completely female-friendly venture capital business. Four female entrepreneurs who understood the need for more female representation in the startup ecosystem started the company in 2019. With an emphasis on Southeast Asia and India, Her Capital seeks to invest in early-stage firms that were created or co-founded by women.

Fintech, healthtech, edtech, and consumer internet are just a few of the industries in which Her Capital makes investments in companies. The investment approach of Her Capital is to concentrate on businesses that address a particular market pain point and have a clear route to revenue creation. The company generally invests between SGD 100,000 and SGD 500,000 in seed-stage and pre-Series A firms.

IWEF- Indonesia

Indonesia Women Empowerment Fund (IWEF), is an exclusively women-friendly venture capital firm that aims to support female entrepreneurs and promote gender equality in Indonesia. IWEF provides a range of services and support to female entrepreneurs, including access to funding, mentorship, and networking opportunities.

In addition to providing support to female entrepreneurs, IWEF may also prioritize investments in businesses that have a positive social impact, such as those that promote sustainability, diversity, and inclusion. Overall, as an exclusively women-friendly VC firm, IWEF plays an important role in promoting gender equality and female empowerment in Indonesia and can help to increase the representation of women in entrepreneurship and business.

Gobi Women’s Funds- China

The Gobi Women's Fund is a venture capital fund that focuses on investing in female-led startups in Southeast Asia, with a particular emphasis on Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The fund was launched in 2016 by Gobi Partners, a venture capital firm that has been active in Asia since 2002.

The Gobi Women's Fund provides seed and early-stage capital to startups that are led by women and are working to create a positive social impact in their communities. The fund has a particular focus on startups in the tech and digital media sectors, as these are areas where women are often underrepresented and face unique challenges. The firm has also launched a Women in Tech (WiT) initiative, which aims to promote gender equality and diversity in the tech industry by providing mentorship, networking, and funding opportunities to women-led startups.

SAHA funds- India

The Saha Fund is a venture capital firm founded by Ankita Vashistha in 2018 that focuses on investing in women-led startups in India. The firm is named after the Sanskrit word "Saha", which means "together", reflecting its mission to create a more inclusive and equitable startup ecosystem in India. It provides seed and early-stage funding to startups in tech, healthcare, and social impact, that are led by women and have the potential to create positive social impact.

The Saha Fund has invested in several innovative startups, including a foodtech company, a wellness platform, and a fintech company. The firm has also received recognition for its work promoting women's entrepreneurship, including being named a finalist in the Best Women-Focused Venture Capital Firm category at the 2021 Women in Business and the Professions World Awards.

She Loves Tech- China

She Loves Tech is a VC firm that invests in women-led or women-impact startups. The firm is based in China and has a focus on Asia, investing in early and growth-stage companies that are working to solve global challenges in healthtech, edtech, and fintech. She Loves Tech has grown rapidly since its establishment in 2015. The firm has established itself as a leading venture capital fund and startup platform focused on women-led and women-impact businesses in Asia. Some key milestones and achievements of She Loves Tech include:

Investment in over 60 startups across 20 countries in Asia and beyond, Partnership with leading venture capital firms and organizations, including Qiming Venture Partners, Vertex Ventures, and Sequoia Capital China, Recognition and awards for its work in promoting diversity and gender equality in the startup ecosystem, including being named one of the top 10 influential brands for gender equality in China in 2019.

StrongHer Ventures- India

StrongHer Ventures is based in India. The firm was founded in 2019 Ankita Vashisth, and it focuses on investing in women-led businesses in India and Southeast Asia. It seeks to address the gender gap in the startup ecosystem by providing funding and support to women entrepreneurs. The firm typically invests between $500,000 and $1.5 million in early-stage startups in sectors such as healthtech, edtech, fintech, and consumer technology.

StrongHer Ventures has invested in women's healthcare platform Kasha, the fashion and lifestyle brand Nicobar, and the beauty and personal care brand Sugar Cosmetics. The firm has also established partnerships with leading organizations in the startup ecosystem, including Y Combinator and the Women's Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Angels of Impact- Singapore

Angels of Impact is a Singapore-based impact investment network that focuses on investing in women-led social enterprises in Southeast Asia. The organization was founded in 2016 by Haslinda and Nazreen Mohamed Din to support women entrepreneurs in creating positive social and environmental impact through their businesses.

Angels of Impact provides seed funding, mentorship, and networking opportunities to its portfolio companies, and also offers education and capacity-building programs to support women-led social enterprises in scaling their impact.