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82 percent of tech cash goes to male entrepreneurs

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82 percent of tech cash goes to male entrepreneurs
2016 has been a record year for investments in IT firms. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT
11:17 CET+01:00
Sweden may be one of the most gender equal countries in the world, but a new report by DI Digital sheds light on a money divide in the startup world.

Venture capitalists and business angel investors are expected to have invested 15 billion kronor ($1.63 billion) in Swedish IT companies this year by the end of 2016, according to database Nordic Tech List.

Four percent of 377 investments in 336 businesses have gone to female founders and 14 percent to businesses with both male and female co-founders, reports tech and business site DI Digital.

A total of 82 percent has been invested in companies with only male founders.

"The challenge is that there are so few girls who start tech companies. Venture capital goes mainly to that type of business," Marie Wall, startup manager at Sweden's Enterprise Ministry, told the newspaper.

"We see the same pattern across the world. Why don't girls go for tech?"

State-run Vinnova split its investments equally between male and female founders. It was followed by the Springfield Project, which gave 50 percent of its cash to businesses run only by men and 20 percent to women, but 30 percent to businesses with male and female co-founders.

The statistics come amid a government push to make companies boost the number of women on boards in Sweden and efforts to persuade more girls to pursue careers in tech.

Earlier this year leading incubator Sting revealed that, for the first time, half of the startups awarded cash in its first investment round of 2016 were run or co-founded by women.

Peo Nilsson, programme manager and business coach at Sting Accelerate, told The Local at the time that it had not actively sought out more women.

"We don't have any quotas or so, we simply try to select the best companies (...) it is usually about two out of eight that have women co-founders," he said.

"But I think that you could argue that we are pretty conscious when it comes to finding startups where at least one of the co-founders is a woman. We do that in a range of ways from sponsoring different events to word-of-mouth (...) getting into the right communities and events to tell women we are here to help."

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