Female Venture Capitalists From Accel and DFJ Launch Mobile Focused VC Firm

February 21, 2014

It is fairly well known that men far outnumber women holding investment positions in venture capital firms. A 2011 survey by National Venture Capital Association of nearly 600 professionals working in venture capital firms found that among those who identified themselves as investors, only 11 percent were female and an overwhelming 89 percent were male. Given that background, it is refreshing to hear that two prominent women in the venture capital space have joined to form a new VC firm.

According to TechCrunch, venture capital veterans Theresia Gouw, a partner at Accel Partners for 15 years and Jennifer Fonstad who was once a Managing Director at Draper Fisher Jurvetson for 17 years are starting a new venture firm Aspect Ventures focused on providing seed funding to mobile focused early stage startups.

Gouw, aged 45 and Fonstad, aged 47 together have made over 80 seed and Series A investments during their career. The two have also raised more than 300 rounds of follow on capital. Among the notable winners in their portfolio are NanoString, athenahealth and Trulia. The two have been friends for over twenty years and often shared investment ideas in early stage companies.

Mobile Still A tremendous opportunity

Fonstad, whose areas of specialization include enterprise and mobile applications, application services and healthcare IT sees opportunities in mobile beyond the growth that has already taken place. Specifically Fonstad thinks there is lot of room for innovation in the mobile healthcare and security space.  Gouw, on her part has much of her experience centered on consumer, social commerce and security companies.

At the moment, these two women are the only partners in the new firm and they are investing their own money. Fonstad disclosed that the goal is to build an institutional venture firm.

Wall Street Journal reports that the new firm Aspect Ventures has already made two investments. The firm plans to do around a dozen investments in a year ranging from half a million to two million in seed and Series A funding.

Impact On Job Market

Gouw and Fonstad are seasoned professionals. The fact that they are willing to ditch their well-paying jobs to start their own firm and focus on mobile technology investments is an indication that this space still holds potential for substantial growth in the coming years. Given the strong reputation these two women enjoy in the venture capital industry, their move may cause other venture capital veterans to ponder a move to be on their own. That is a good sign for tech entrepreneurs and those keen on getting into the startup scene.

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