Women-focused Disruption Ventures raises $13 million led by Scotiabank

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Disruption Ventures, a private female-founded venture capital fund investing in businesses led by women, is set to receive $13 million, as part of a partnership with Scotiabank.

“Research has shown that women are significantly underserved in venture capital markets.”

Disruption has received commitments for $13 million of its $30 million fund target, in funding led by Scotiabank, according to The Globe and Mail. The investment includes a $2 million commitment from CI Financial Corp. The money will go towards Disruption’s mission of investing in early growth financing rounds for startups founded or managed by women.

With this new investment from Scotiabank and CI Financial Corp, along with last year’s $2.5 million investments, Disruption is almost halfway towards its $30 million fund target.

Toronto-based Disruption was launched in May 2018, by Elaine Kunda, the firm’s managing partner. Disruption seeks to provide early-stage capital for female founders, and its website states its goal as being “the starting point for the best female founders,” and building companies with women entrepreneurs.

Along with funding, Scotiabank will also assist the VC firm with marketing, with the hope of driving awareness about the partnership and offering educational content to support female entrepreneurs. The financial institution’s investment is a part of the Scotiabank Women Initiative, a program dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs grow their business through access to capital and mentorship.

“Research has shown that women are significantly underserved in venture capital markets,” said Gillian Riley president and CEO, Tangerine, and executive sponsor of the Scotiabank Women Initiative. “Funding female entrepreneurs is what drives tangible change, and our partnership with Disruption Ventures is another way for us to expand access to capital and deliver on our promise.”

Disruption Ventures plans to make initial investments with the $13 million, with plans to continue fundraising to reach its $30 million funding goal in 2019. Reaching that goal would make it the largest private, independent, and women-only led fund in Canada, according to Scotiabank.

The fund is looking to serve a community that has typically been underrepresented in the VC community. Female leaders and entrepreneurs face many obstacles in the VC and startup industries. A 2018 report by Female Funders found that just 14 percent of Canadian venture capital partners are women. A similar report by PayPal and Barraza & Associates found that businesses owned by women have limited access to capital and therefore generate an average of $68,000 less revenue than men who run similar businesses.

“Women entrepreneurs are a huge commercial opportunity,” said Kunda. “Early-stage investing is only one part of a company’s success, which is why I am proud to announce this very unique strategic partnership with Scotiabank. Access to capital and banking services are critical to the sustainable growth and long-term success of any business.”


Sera Wong

Heyo, Sera here. I love infographics, organizing data, and making lists. I’m an avid lover of cats. Please send cat pics my way at @Sera_wong on Twitter.

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