The Masters Fund is a women-led gender lens venture fund investing in better ways to live and work together.
We invest in high potential technology companies outside the conventional investment pool, with gender-balanced founding teams with women at the helm. Our sweet spot is growth stage at the first priced round, in areas of opportunity. The most foolish reason to invest in a company is its address.
We seek unicorns in uncrowded spaces
Conventional venture capital focuses on just 3.6% of the highest potential tech startups, while 84% of VC funds flows to all-male teams, making them an over-invested over-valued asset class.
We are addressing a $4.4 Trillion Impact investment opportunity
"It takes both women and men to set things right. Both genders benefit when everyone is equally supported and rewarded in their efforts to build new and better products and processes"
Sources:https://techcrunch.com/2018/11/04/female-founders-have-brought-in-just-2-2-of-us-vc-this-year-yes-again/ http://startupsusa.org/women-founded-venture-backed-startups/Report_Final.pdf https://www.morganstanley.com/ideas/trillion-dollar-blind-spot-infographic/
The Sybilla Masters Story
The Masters Fund is named for Sybilla Masters, an early 18th-century innovator in Philadelphia who invented a machine to pound corn into what we now call grits. She left her husband and four children in 1712 to sail to England to seek a patent from King George III. It was the first patent awarded to anyone in the Colonies, but it was awarded to her husband. He insisted it be written “A patent awarded to thomas Masters for an invention found out by his wife Sybilla Righton Masters”. During the three-year wait for the patent, Sybilla Masters opened a millinery shop in London, where she invented a process for creating straw hats from palmetto leaves and cornered the market, and gaining a second patent for curing the Palmetto leaves. Sybilla made her husband a very wealthy man.
It takes both men and women to set things right, and both genders benefit when everyone is equally supported and rewarded in their efforts to build new and better products and processes. But for Thomas, Sybilla Masters, like so many women, would have been lost to history. For far too long, women and people of many diverse backgrounds have been intentionally excluded from the activities of invention, business, and the ownership and rewards of their own work. The Masters Fund is chartered to source, fund, and champion diverse founding teams with at least one woman in a position of strategic and operational control.
Our Fund is an intentional effort to promote the potential for all people to succeed at scalable entrepreneurship and enjoy the bounty of their efforts to build better ways to live and work together.
Sybilla Masters' Invention
* While we don't have a picture of the inventor, here is her drawing of the machine she submitted for the patent.
The Business Case for Gender lens Investing
Fact: Diverse Founding Teams Deliver Higher ROI
We believe that diversity on corporate leadership and governing teams is a proxy for the willingness and ability of leadership teams to listen to and act on diverse ideas. It makes companies more resilient and better able to breach new markets more quickly and with greater success.
McKinsey reports that diverse teams are returning higher ROI than homogeneous teams. SharkTank's Kevin O’Leary asserts that over nearly a decade of putting his money behind small companies "not some of my returns, all of my returns, have come from the ones run by women or owned by women,"