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Are Early Stage Investors Biased Against Women?

49 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2017 Last revised: 19 Oct 2017

Michael Ewens

California Institute of Technology - Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Richard R. Townsend

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management

Date Written: October 17, 2017

Abstract

We examine whether male investors are biased against female entrepreneurs. To do so, we use a proprietary dataset from AngelList covering fundraising startups. We find that female founders are less successful with male investors compared to observably similar male founders. In contrast, the same female founders are more successful than male founders with female investors. The results do not appear to be driven by differences across founder gender in startup quality, sector focus, or risk. Given that investors are predominately male, our results suggest that an increase in female investors is likely necessary to support an increase in female entrepreneurship.

Keywords: gender, entrepreneurship, angel investing, venture capital

Suggested Citation

Ewens, Michael and Townsend, Richard R., Are Early Stage Investors Biased Against Women? (October 17, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2953011 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2953011

Michael Ewens (Contact Author)

California Institute of Technology - Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences ( email )

1200 East California Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91125
United States

Richard Townsend

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Rady School of Management
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

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