Lift Women, the nation’s first female-focused crowdfunding platform, has secured an investment from LaunchVic’s sidecar VC for women entrepreneurs, the Alice Anderson Fund.
The Alice Anderson Fund invests alongside other venture capital funds, with Lift Woman backing two global executives from major insurance companies, including Gordon Watson, CEO of AXA Asia, as part of plans to accelerate fintech growth in Australia and beyond. The size of the investment has not been disclosed.
Founder Irene Tsang launched Lift Woman 12 months ago as a CSF platform to connect female founders with investors as part of a broader focus on improving access to capital for women.
A recent Deloitte report, commissioned by women-focused SBE Australia, revealed that funding for women-founded companies fell from 3.8% between 2017 and 2021 to just 0.7% in FY22.
Tsang said Lift Women is part of the solution, allowing female founders to find equity-free and debt-free capital to start their business journey.
“It also provides founders with an all-in-one platform to validate product market fit, prove traction, expand their customer base and increase brand visibility,” she said.
“What is good for gender equality and women’s empowerment is also good for the economy and society. Currently, the gender balance is far out of balance. Women are strongly underrepresented in the entrepreneurial world. Only 22% of startup founders in Australia are women. In 2020 alone, more than six million crowdfunding projects were launched worldwide, but less than 30% were projects by women. With Lift Women I want to change that.”
Lift Women Startups Currently Seeking Funding Involving Wylde, a marketplace for houseplants; Appropriate Sexual Consent Guide for Male Teens Using Gamification; and Yilum, a range of ethically and sustainably sourced camping equipmentof native Victorians from the Taungurung Nation
LaunchVic CEO Dr. Kate Cornick said they were delighted to support Lift Women through Victoria’s $10 million fund for women-led startups.
“We share Irene’s passion for closing the gender investment gap in the entry-level market and look forward to seeing the Lift Women community continue to grow,” she said.
Lead investor Gordon Watson said he was delighted to throw his support behind the fintech platform
“I am extremely impressed with all the work Irene and her team have done, and excited to be able to contribute to the journey to empower women around the world to be all they can be,” he said.
Tsang points to a McKinsey Global Institute estimate that fully including women in the economy would add $12 trillion to global GDP by 2025 as one of her inspirations for building Lift Women.
“The opportunity is clear. We need to invest in women entrepreneurs, not just to help one generation, but also to help the next generation and provide role models,” she said.