Austin’s pioneering venture capital firm, True Wealth Ventures, founded by women to invest in women, announced on Tuesday the close of the firm’s first fund with $19.1 million.
Kerry Rupp and Sara Brand, partners in True Wealth Ventures, plan to use the funds to invest in about 12 women-led startups in the sustainable consumer and consumer health technology industries.
True Wealth Ventures also announced that more than 80 percent of its limited partners are women.
While women-owned businesses continue to be founded and flourish, the funding has simply not kept pace. In 2017, women-led companies received just 2.2 percent of all venture capital funding in the U.S., according to True Wealth Ventures. That’s a problem that True Wealth Ventures set out to correct.
“We’ve seen the statistics: companies led by women show consistently higher performance. Continuing to look away from this massive investment opportunity doesn’t make business or economic sense,” General Partner and MBA Harvard Business School graduate Kerry Rupp said in a news release. “With women making 85 percent of consumer purchase decisions and 80 percent of healthcare decisions, there’s an additional advantage for companies with women on the management team in designing products for, selling to and servicing this customer base.”
So far, True Wealth Ventures has invested in Austin-based UnaliWear, a smartwatch for the senior population to guard against falls and other risks, and Houston-based BrainCheck, a startup that exists as a cognitive testing platform to manage mental health.
“When I started True Wealth Ventures, I saw women-led businesses as an extraordinary investment opportunity that had yet to be realized,” Founding General Partner and Ph.D. Sara Brand, said in a news release. “As there are no other early-stage funds targeting this market in the central/southern part of the U.S., Texas was a natural choice for this blind spot with Austin as an active startup hub and with market affinity for the target verticals.”
At South by Southwest next month, True Wealth Ventures will launch the True Wealth Ventures Startup Pitch Session focused on startups addressing problems, gaps and issues in the sustainable consumer and consumer health and wellness verticals.