Dallas’ RevTech Ventures, the leading early-stage venture capital firm that invests in retail technology companies, has launched a new fund dedicated to enabling the next wave of female founders in retail—and it’s being lauded as the first ever to do so.
The RevTech Equity for Women Fund is meant to represent the burgeoning pipeline of female-led companies. It was launched in partnership with Equity At Work, a Dallas-based management consulting firm that helps businesses create more equitable workplaces.
“I am excited for Equity At Work to partner with RevTech Ventures in launching this fund so we can directly support and invest in innovation from women-led startups,” Michelle Bogan, the founder and CEO of Equity At Work, said in a statement. “Investing in female founders, co-founders and leaders is not only the right thing to do, it makes good business sense.”
The fund will focus on female innovators who are totally transforming a longtime stagnant industry. As a recent McKinsey report pointed out, companies are 50 percent more likely to outperform competitors when women are well-represented at the top.
Even before COVID hit, traditional retail was continually disrupted by futuristic concepts and technology solutions. Retailers were being forced to find new ways to adapt in the age of Amazon and stay connected with consumers. The pandemic only accelerated that.
RevTech and Equity At Work said they wanted to raise the fund to maximize the potential of female-led entities, while also capitalizing on recent changes in consumer behaviors and expectations.
For the large undertaking, they needed the perfect person at the helm: That’s where Rachel West comes in.
West is the head of the Seed Stage Investment Team at RevTech Ventures. She’s also the president of SoGal Dallas, the local chapter of The SoGal Foundation, a platform for the empowerment and education of diverse entrepreneurs and investors. So, she evidently has experience in supporting female entrepreneurs—and says she knows the first step and biggest barrier for women is often securing a VC-backed check.
But her new title makes her a trailblazer in the industry. As lead of the RevTech Equity for Women Fund, West is now the youngest female fund manager in Texas, according to a statement.
She will have leadership support from David Matthews, RevTech’s managing director, and Michelle Bogan, the CEO and founder of Equity at Work.
“Some of our best performing investments are founded by women; The Citizenry, for example, has been a home run. Unfortunately, systemic issues cause many other female-led startups of this caliber to be overlooked,” West said in a statement. “RevTech has a direct opportunity to move the needle, a passion for increasing female representation in the industry, and a focus on delivering superior returns.”
RevTech Ventures, which specializes in investments that create the future of retail, attributes a few factors to its recent successes with female-led companies. Those include:
• a mentor network of former Fortune 500 CEOs and startup executives;
• 100-plus executive network members made up of current retailers and subject matter experts; and
• an exclusive focus on retail concepts and technologies.
“We are uniquely poised to capitalize on the changing landscape of retail—both in diverse representation and technological advancement—and I’m grateful to be a part of the team driving this change,” West said. “By doubling down on female entrepreneurs, who according to Boston Consulting Group, deliver twice as much revenue per dollar invested than male counterparts, we can generate even higher returns.”
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