Rockies Venture Club has funded 14 deals in the past year, bringing its portfolio mix to include 55% companies which are female and minority led vs. the national average of just 14.4%.
Rockies Venture Club (RVC) an angel investing group based out of Colorado closed two rounds of funding in the third quarter of 2016 bringing the group to fifteen deals closed in the last twelve months. Across RVC’s investment portfolio, 55% of the companies that have received funding are led by female or minority founders.
The world of Angel and Venture Capital investing is known to be highly homogeneous. In fact, according to the Center for Venture Research, “Women-owned ventures accounted for 29.2% of the entrepreneurs that were seeking angel capital and 14.4% of these women entrepreneurs received an angel investment in 2015.” This is especially surprising considering a recent study by the National Center for Women in Tech (NCWIT) who conducted a study of over 20,000 venture backed companies and showed that successful tech startups have twice as many women in leadership positions.
When asked about this trend in the Club’s portfolio Rockies Venture Club Executive Director Peter Adams stated, “RVC has always believed in empowering current and future female entrepreneurs. That is one of the reasons that we helped create the Biz Girls CEOs Accelerator program. Beyond that we have often found that female entrepreneurs are more efficient with the capital our investors put into a company.”
One of the two female led companies that the club funded in the last quarter was Silvernest. Silvernest is a unique roommate-matching service for boomers and empty nesters who have space to share. Targeting home owners aged 50-75, they have seen impressive 40% month-over-month growth. At the close of their round Silvernest simultaneously closed their seed round and was accepted into the 500 Startups Accelerator. CEO Wendi Burkhardt states, “Beyond a shadow of a doubt, working with the RVC team and investors added incredible value by making us stronger and better prepared us to engage with other qualified investors. Having RVC as a key investor opened the door to other interested investors and offered us a level of credibility that accelerated our funding process.”
With this funding round, Silvernest has a strong emphasis on growth, using the funds to accelerate rapid expansion and revenue generation through enhanced acquisition strategies and the development of a defined growth engine. Burkhardt again states, “Future milestones for the company include a new product release, targeted/formal expansion into 3 additional markets, finalization of several strategic partnerships and a planned Series A raise in 2017.” “Rockies Venture Club looks forward to Silvernest’s continued success and hopes to work with many other strong female led companies in the future,” states Adams.