The Artemis Fund specializes in ladies founders in underserved communities


The Artemis Fund is a Houston-essentially based totally firm built by three ladies with the aim of encouraging extra ladies-led startups. The company launched in 2019 and has raised a $15 million initial fund, which closed earlier this year.

Diana Murakhovskaya, who launched the firm with Stephanie Campbell and Leslie Goldman, says that the three ladies met over a mutual ardour in investing in startups, one which didn’t glorious write a test and stroll away, but that was as soon as actually interested in helping these companies grow and thrive.

“We launched the fund in 2019, and we were making an strive to raise a micro VC to make investments in about 15 companies, and back a concentrated portfolio where we can actually encourage these companies,” she acknowledged. The LPs within the fund are damage up 50/50 between males and girls with an equal capital fragment amongst them, she acknowledged.

The ladies recognized that female founders confronted an up-hill battle when it came to getting funding. Genuinely, in 2019 Crunchbase study realized that glorious 13% p.c of VC money went to startups with at least one female founder with all female founding groups accounting for glorious 3% of that.

At the same time, as the ladies came collectively within the Houston investing scene, they couldn’t encourage but price that it was as soon as largely dominated by older white males. Murakhovskaya, whose background is engineering, linked with Campbell, who has an MBA and they wanted to know why extra ladies weren’t getting interested.

“I acknowledged, ‘The set are the total ladies?’ [ … ] And so we started doing these dinners to lift collectively ladies and asking them why they’re now no longer investing, what they’re doing and, and these were all company ladies [who had the money to invest].”

What they realized was as soon as that both ladies had never been invited to make investments, or luxuriate in them they were making an strive to total it, but realized angel investing now no longer up to fulfilling. About this time, they met Goldman, who was as soon as a lawyer, and was as soon as on the board at the Houston Angel Network. “She’s an brisk angel in about 50 companies and 11 funds and similarly had this thesis of transferring all of her investing to female founders at the time,” Murakhovskaya acknowledged.

The three ladies with distinctly varied decent backgrounds decided to come abet collectively and the theory for The Artemis Fund began to purchase shape. “We thought it was as soon as the very most though-provoking [mix] — roughly what happens when an engineer, an MBA and a lawyer celebration. So, we uncover that our backgrounds are irregular, and that helps moderately a kind of our portfolio companies in moderately a kind of quite plenty of ways,” she acknowledged.

That meant they wanted to be interested with the founders and encourage them grow the corporations. “And in bid that was as soon as one ingredient we wanted to make particular differentiates us from the quite plenty of female-targeted VCs. We would make investments nationally, we would lead or co-lead most of our rounds and actually encourage the corporations alongside the capital stack. And that meant running a extraordinary extra concentrated portfolio.”

The fund specializes in startups with female founders, who’re in gargantuan doable markets, but ones that archaic male-dominated VCs could perchance merely now no longer look the doable in. Among the portfolio companies is UNest, an organization that helps households purchase merit of tax-exempt college financial savings accounts to save money for their young individuals’ college schooling and Upgrade, a maker of customized wigs and extensions. These companies checked every of those boxes of being wander by a girl in a gargantuan market that had been largely omitted by the archaic funding crew.

Murakhovskaya says up to now the firm has invested in 11 companies with plans to make investments in 4-5 extra after which raise the following fund. She says while it’s about helping nurture and price these companies, it’s also about finding companies that proceed to grow into their Series A, B and beyond, while delivering a true return for the company’s partners.

“That is now no longer a charity or philanthropy. We actually imagine that girls and diverse groups in relate will outperform, on top of bringing collectively a clear space of companies and products and services and products which are glorious now no longer being met for the buyers that they’re making an strive to encourage.”