May 13, 2019 | By: Jonathan Hera, Founder, Managing Partner, Marigold Capital & Toronto Lead, TBDF Canada. The Billion Dollar Fund For Women™/Canada
The Billion Dollar Fund was established in 2018 at the annual meeting of the IMF/World Bank and asks VC firms from around the world to pledge a total of $1 billion USD towards the financing of women-founded companies (in any sector). Once signed up, those who pledge have until 2020 to follow through. The initiative is part of achieving The UN’s Sustainable Development Goal #5-gender equality. In a post on the fund’s website, Shelly Porges, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of TBDF Women says “TBDF Women is a consortium of venture funds pledged to invest more into women-founded companies through 2020, with each venture fund retaining its independence, designating the amount of its pledge, and managing and sourcing its own deal flow to fulfill its pledge. Ours is an effort to encourage increased investments into WFCs by inspiring and strengthening the venture funds that do this important work. Our goal is to attract investments into the venture funds by institutional and private investors looking to gender-diversify their portfolios as they seek improved returns.” Porges adds “As we like to say, when you invest in women, you’re in good company.” Canadians stepped up to the TBDF plate in early 2019. Lally Ramentilla, the fund’s Canadian lead and president of Quantius is leading the charge. In a February blog post by Cycle Capital Management, Rementilla says “The Billion Dollar Fund for Women is a simple and elegant way for venture capital firms to show their support for female-founded companies. If you say that you support female entrepreneurs, you make a pledge and join the consortium. We are mobilizing existing funds to work together towards a common global goal, to empower female entrepreneurs. As of May 2019, Marigold Capital (Canada’s first pledge), Cycle Capital Management, Ecofuel Fund, Pique Ventures, Grand Challenges Canada, BCF Ventures, Dream Maker Ventures and StandUp Ventures have agreed to participate, alongside Quantius.