Kalaari Capital launches $10 mn fund for women-led startups

Kalaari Capital launches $10 mn fund for women-led startups
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29 Jul, 2021

Early stage venture firm Kalaari Capital said it will set aside $10 million (Rs 74.2 crore) annually to invest in startups led by women under its CXXO programme launched this year. 

The CXXO programme will create a cohort of eight to 10 female founders and CEOs each year and will provide them with capital and support, said CXXO in a statement. 

"The CXXO programme will ensure there is no bias and discrimination on access to capital. We believe these founders will pioneer workplaces that are equitable and inclusive for more women to rise," Vani Kola, managing director, Kalaari Capital, said. 

Kola, one of the few women to lead a venture capital firm in India, is also part of the leadership team of CXXO. 

The representation of women in leadership positions in venture capital backed startups is dismal, according to TechCircle analysis earlier this April year. 

Kalaari Capital has backed 55 startups since inception, as per its website. Of those, nine companies have women co-founders, six have a woman CEO and three have an all-women founding team. 

Of late, the venture industry appears to be taking cognisance of this lack of women representation in startups and some entities seem to be making an effort to address the issue. 

Earlier this week, Sequoia Capital announced a programme called Spark Fellowship for women startup founders in India and Southeast Asia.   

The programme includes a grant of $100,000 (Rs 74 lakh) for 15 women entrepreneur-led startups every year in the pre-launch or pre-product market fit stage.