The changing face of UK venture capital 2020


Last year we went on the search for the best and brightest women in UK venture capital. We were responding to a new wealth of data on the topic which that a glaring gender disparity in the small but powerful industry.

New data from the likes of Diversity VC, the British Business Bank, and the VC firm Atomico has pulled back the curtain on an industry that looked a lot like a boys' club, and a pretty exclusive one at that, populated by just 20 percent of women in investing roles, and 13 percent at the senior level according to the latest report from Diversity VC.

That report also expanded its remit beyond gender diversity to include career background, education, and ethnicity for the first time.

A fifth of employees in Britain's VC industry had attended either Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, or Stanford. A third of those surveyed had either attended those prestigious universities, or a business school.

Ethnicity proved harder to quantify because just 223 of the 2,114 VCs surveyed submitted answers on the topic. Still, of those respondents, 76 percent identified as white.

To reflect this we also broadened our search for diverse talent in the industry, committing to speaking to six people in the industry about their experiences, and we will be publishing one every two days for the next two weeks.

We also included men for the first time this year, but only men who are either non-white or have broken into the industry despite not attending an elite set of educational institutions. We also spoke to younger entrants to the industry who have come through the Future VC apprenticeship scheme, another new route into the industry.

The results, we hope, paint a picture of an industry which is starting to change, to become more open to hiring talent wherever it may come from, and to help bring an influx of investment into founders and companies that may have been overlooked by homogeneous investors.

First up was our only returning guest, Check Warner, who cofounded Diversity VC before setting up her own fund Ada Ventures last year, with the explicit aim to do everything we just talked about: invest in underserved founders and markets.

Watch our interview with Warner here: Changing Face of UK VC 2020: Check Warner, founding partner at Ada Ventures

Below is a list of all the interviews we conducted this year as part of the series:

  • Uzma Choudry, early stage investor at Octopus Ventures
  • Akash Bajwa, Portfolio and Investment Analyst at Cass Entrepreneurship Fund
  • Andy Davis, angel investor at Atomico and venture partner at Backstage Capital
  • Pascale Diaine, Storm Ventures
  • Mina Mutafchieva, Principal, Dawn Capital

This story, "The changing face of UK venture capital 2020" was originally published by

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