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Andrew and Nicola Forrest support female founders at Startmate

Mining billionaires Andrew and Nicola Forrest are supporting female founders in the latest Startmate accelerator program in an effort to close the funding gap for women.

The Forrests have signed a strategic partnership agreement with Startmate through their private investment vehicle Tattarang.

The Summer23 cohort includes Raj Bagri of Kapture, who is working to decarbonise 83 million diesel generators worldwide; Fionnuala Quin of Kelpy, replacing single-use plastics with compostable bio-packaging; and Jessica Dove of Turnto, who democratizes medical breakthroughs by building cutting-edge conversation for every single health condition.

Startmate invests $120,000 in each startup to accelerate their growth. The Tattarang funding comes one week after the 2022 State of Australian start-up funding report revealed that fMale founder participation hit an all-time high last year, with 23% of all pre-seed and seed funding for startups having at least one female founder. However, their share of funding fell dramatically, with women’s share of the funding pie falling to 10% – from 21% in 2021 – and they raised a median amount that was 39% lower than for all-male teams.

Those numbers correspond to SLast year’s BE Australia analysis found that while 22% of startups were founded by women, they received just 0.7% of $10 billion in startup funding from the private sector in FY22.

Startmate Head of Investments Brady Flockart Startmate said the program prioritizes initiatives that empower women’s success. As a result, 45% of their 105 investments went to women-founded or co-founded startups, representing 43% of total capital invested since 2021.

“The real impact happens before any of our investment decisions,” he said.

“These results are driven by our time and energy building communities of ambitious women who support or become founders themselves. That’s what makes the difference.”

Nicola Forrest said Tattarang will work with Startmate to close the funding gap for female-led startups.

“The disproportionately low share of venture capital received by women is holding back economic progress and prosperity,” she said.

“It’s refreshing to see Startmate take a truly equitable approach and we want to help them support female founders. There is a strong correlation between gender equality and an organization’s success, and when women-led businesses succeed, it benefits society as a whole, women and men alike.”

Michael Batko, CEO of Startmate, said the funding gap is a structural problem on the investment side.

“Our First Believers program has helped 65 women launch their angel investment trip,” he said.

“Over the past two years, these angels have made over 100 investments in the ecosystem as a community, often believing in founders before believing in themselves.

“Startmate’s Women’s Fellowship Program has also empowered 530 ambitious women who want to make a more impactful career move from corporates to startups.”

READ NOW: Andrew Forrest backs Kiwi hydrogen technology startup Fabrum in NZ$23M Series A


Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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