This is post is part of iluk’s Grow With Us series, where we unveil a little bit more about who we are as a company, the founders behind the scenes, what we are building, our values, and what we stand for. iluk is proudly women-led and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
We at iluk are entering an exciting new stage in the company’s growth (stay tuned as we will talk more about this in a later post!) As we prepare for this next chapter, we will be going over some fun facts about the company and the folks behind the scenes hustling to make some entrepreneurial magic happen.
iluk is Proudly Women-Led
iluk is female-founded and women-led. When we started building iluk, we didn’t find anything extraordinary about this. We were just two women with an idea and a big vision.
However, we since realize that even in 2021, women-led tech companies are a rare sight. There is still huge inequity when it comes to VC fundraising for women-led start-ups.
According to the Harvard Business Review, women-led startups received just 2.3% of VC funding in 2020! For women of colour, the stats are far more dismal at just 0.64%.
Crunchbase goes into this data in further detail. Despite a record VC funding surge in the US, American startups founded solely by female founders raised only $3.2 billion in 2020. This is down a billion dollars from $4.2 billion in 2019.
The COVID-19 Pandemic could be part of the reason. 66% of women reported having more responsibilities at home and many had to exit the workforce altogether. But this isn’t the full story.
Women in the tech industry face inequity and numerous hurdles:
- Underrepresentation of female VCs (only 12% of decision makers at VC funds are women),
- Tendency of female entrepreneurs to undersell their businesses compared to their male counterparts
- Female breadwinners still taking on the majority of childcare and household duties,
- The tech industry’s endemic “bro-culture” more generally
Changing the Game by Fostering a Culture of Inclusivity
While these statistics can sometimes feel deflating, we will not be deterred. As women and as entrepreneurs, we want to foster an inclusive company culture where female leadership and innovation can thrive. A company that supports women of colour and marginalized voices. Development, respect, creativity, leadership, communication and autonomy are just a few of our driving forces at iluk.
The facts speak for themselves
According to BCG, despite this disparity in VC funding, startups founded by women actually performed better over time, These startups generated 10% more in cumulative revenue over a five-year period. And for every dollar of funding, these startups generated 78 cents, while male-founded startups generated just 31 cents!
And while we’re dropping facts on facts:
– Companies with more female executives in decision-making positions continue to generate stronger market returns and superior profits (Crédit Suisse research)
– More than 50% of Americans say they’d prefer to work at a female-led company over a male-led company. They’re more purpose-driven, more likely to have access to childcare, and are more likely to offer equal pay (The Harris Poll)
– Five of the areas in which women-led companies are clearly thriving relative to male-led companies: strategy, mission, belief, communication and autonomy (Peakon)
While we know we have our work cut out for us, our vision is clear and our determination is steadfast. Most importantly, we know who we are and what we stand for. iluk is proudly women-led and we wouldn’t have it any other way!