Mindshift Capital Proves That Women-Led Tech Companies Are An Untapped Market With Great Upside Female and diverse teams still struggle to raise capital, although they tend to outperform, says the Mindshift Capital team.

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Mindshift Capital
Marcia Dawood, Venture Partner, Mindshift Capital, and Heather Henyon, Founding Partner, Mindshift Capital

UAE-based venture capital fund Mindshift Capital has doubled its fund size and attracted a number of prominent MENA investors ahead of the closing of its first fund in February 2022.

Mindshift, a global women-run VC fund, invests in early-stage health and wellness tech, foodtech, edtech, and fintech startups. To date, it has invested in 11 female-led tech companies, with a fund target of 15-20 companies in total. The portfolio is split approximately 50% between the US and emerging markets, primarily in MENAT and Singapore. Audited returns for the first year of the fund are 48% internal rate of return (IRR).

"As we head into our final fund closing in February with strong returns on the existing portfolio, we continue to see this as an untapped market with great upside, given that female and diverse teams still struggle to raise capital," explains Heather Henyon, Founding Partner of Mindshift Capital. "This is despite the evidence that they tend to outperform."

Due to a strong portfolio that the team has built to date, Mindshift Capital has managed to add Fadi Ghandour, Executive Chairman of Wamda Capital, Dr. Aamir A. Rehman, Senior Fellow at Columbia Business School, and Kristina Montague, co-founder of The Jump Fund and Board Member of the Angel Capital Association, to its list of notable investors.

Mindshift Capital fund's thesis is built on the "next gen" values that are driving new business models and purchasing behaviors. With a team distributed across Dubai, Berlin, and the US, the fund's key differentiator is its team's ability to source the top women-led deals globally. "Many firms come to Mindshift for funding, not because of our large check size, but because the founders, male and female, want more women investors on their cap table," Henyon says. "We bring diversity to the table and all of its benefits, including our unique network and perspective on the businesses."

Mindshift Capital was seeded by the Women's Angel Investor Network (WAIN), the first and largest women's angel investor group in the MENA region started by Henyon in 2014. WAIN has invested in 10 companies and has 50 women investors in the MENA region.

Related: Could Investing In Women Be The Next Bitcoin Opportunity? Making The Case For Gender Lens Investing

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