Female and southeastern-focused venture capital firm the JumpFund has raised its second fund of $5.2 million, more than double their first fund. JumpFund I invested in 18 early-stage companies with female founders or leadership.
The JumpFund was founded in 2013 with the intent to increase the pool of capital for female-led startups in the region. While there’s been much talk over the past few years about the gender inequity gap in the VC world, an analysis by TechCrunch showed that the percentage of women-founded venture-backed companies has not increased since 2012 — that’s a stagnant period of six years. Though not a huge fund in terms of dollars, the JumpFund’s mission of supporting female entrepreneurs in the early stages can help them get ready for more investment later on.
The JumpFund’s home base is Chattanooga, TN, but its partners and portfolio companies live across the Southeast. One of the investors in JumpFund II is Invest Atlanta, the City of Atlanta’s economic development department.
“For more women-owned businesses to take the leap, they need to have access to the same venture capital opportunities as their male counterparts,” said Dr. Eloisa Klementich, President and CEO of Invest Atlanta.
The firm also serves as a partner of the City of Atlanta’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI), a city-funded incubator that provides resources, education and coaching to 15 women founders for 15 months. JumpFund’s partners serve as mentors and advisors to the WEI entrepreneurs.
Atlanta-based JumpFund partner Kim Seals told Hypepotamus that they will consider the WEI founders for future engagement with the firm.
“We will be monitoring the progress of the companies throughout the course of the 15-month program to determine which companies we should encourage to apply for JumpFund investment,” she explained.
One major JumpFund portfolio success story was Partpic, an Atlanta-based visual search startup that was acquired by Amazon in 2016.
JumpFund II has already made nine investments, including five follow-on investments in current portfolio companies.