Silicon Valley-based organization dedicated to redefining the traditional venture capital landscape, Astia, has launched an early stage hedge fund of $ 100 million. It is intended to address the extraordinary disparity in financing for businesses. Among those that include women in executive positions.
Led by a Mastercard investment, the Astia Fund will invest globally in high growth companies that have at least one woman in an executive position. In addition, that it has participation in shares. Additional investors include Priya Mathur, former chairman of the CalPERS board; Jim O’Neill, former chief economist and former chairman of Asset Management at Goldman Sachs; Farvatn Venture; Portola Creek Capital; Tides Foundation; and numerous members of Toniic, a global network of impact investors.
Since launching the investment activity in 2013, Astia has invested more than $ 27 million in companies acquired by Astia Expert Sift. These have been shown to eliminate gender, race, age and geography biases in the investment selection and contracting process. Those companies have raised more than $ 450 million. The Fund offers institutional investors the opportunity to invest in companies rated by Sift. They will also be able to partner with Astia’s accomplished investment team, Sharon Vosmek, Victoria Pettibone, Evie Mulberry and Omar Ali.
During the previous year, Astia acquired companies that raised more than a billion dollars. However, only 2% of global venture capital was distributed to companies founded by women. In addition, it will provide guidance to companies it funds to address such disparities within their work environments.
Mastercard’s support for the Astia Fund is based on a commitment to driving a more inclusive and sustainable digital economy, where everyone has the opportunity to reach their potential.
There’s a lot of talk about inclusion and women in venture capital, but venture capitalists need to do what they do best: invest. With this new fund, Astia systematically invests in underinvested but outperforming companies, in which women rightly occupy positions of power, capital and influence. Not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it creates better companies and delivers higher returns.
Sharon Vosmek, CEO of Astia.
I am proud that Mastercard is the leading investor in Astia’s first venture fund. Much of our world was designed without women in mind, and without women involved. Even today, inequality and exclusion still hold women back. That’s why Mastercard is forging ambitious partnerships and advocating for the people, businesses, and innovations that are transforming the way our world works. We know that when women and underrepresented groups are at the leadership table, these teams outperform clients, investors and companies.
Ann Cairns, Executive Vice President of Mastercard.