boost fund 1, capital pilot, women in tech

Capital Pilot’s Boost Fund 1, a venture fund that makes automated investments into startups with founders from diverse backgrounds, has reached its halfway point by investing £2.5m across 50 UK startups.

Launched in June, Boost Fund 1 was set up with the goal of backing high-growth startups, many of which are from diverse backgrounds.

The investment ratings agency uses automation to assess the business model and team of a prospective startup. It combines this with human analysis and identifies flaws to be fixed at early-stage startups, before deciding whether it’s suitable for investment.

Capital Pilot reports that 50% of its cohort are female-founded businesses.

Data shows that businesses with male founders or co-founders receive nearly seven times more funding on average than female-owned businesses.

According to Capital Pilot, 30% of the founders backed by the fund are from ethnic minority backgrounds and as many as 40% are based outside of London, as part of the firm’s goal of providing “equal access to capital for everyone, everywhere”.

The Boost 1 Fund is aiming to double its investment progress within six months and according to Capital Pilot is on track to complete 100 investments worth a collective £5m in that time period.

“From the outset, we were confident that by removing human bias in the investment selection process the Boost Fund would build a more diverse portfolio of startup founders,” said Richard Blakesley, Capital Pilot founder and CEO.

“It’s hugely encouraging to see that at just the halfway point, the fund already has a considerably higher representation of female founders, ethnic minority entrepreneurs, and businesses based outside of the capital than the industry average.”

Yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook, in an interview with BBC News, said there is “no good excuse for the lack of women in tech” and that the industry “will not achieve nearly what it could achieve” without greater diversity.

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