The JumpFund, based in Chattanooga TN, has raised a second, $5.2M fund to continue to build on its vision to make the Southeast the best place for a woman to invest in or grow her business. First launched in 2013, the women-led JumpFund invested its first $2.5M fund in 18 companies with strong women leadership from Louisville, KY to Memphis, TN, to Atlanta, GA. JumpFund II was raised to continue to highlight the large gap in access to capital for women-led ventures, as well as to increase the number of women as “angel” investors.
“For more women-owned businesses to take the leap, they need to have access to the same venture capital opportunities as their male counterparts,” said Dr. Eloisa Klementich, a member of the Atlanta Emerging Markets, Inc. Board of Directors. “Too often this hasn’t been the case, which is why we’re working to level the playing field for women entrepreneurs. By partnering with the JumpFund through the Atlanta Seed Equity Initiative, we can help narrow this gap and bring new investment to more women-led ventures in the City of Atlanta.”
JumpFund II has investment from individuals and institutions across the Southeast and as far away as Denver, Seattle and Boston who realize the ROI potential of investing in women-led companies. A recent report by the Boston Consulting Group highlighted a 19% increase in innovation revenue from companies with diverse leadership and a 2016 study by First Round Capital found a 63% higher success rate of their portfolio companies with at least one woman founder. Invest Atlanta, the City of Atlanta’s economic development authority, is one of those institutions participating in JumpFund II and was specifically seeking funding partners to enhance the economic competitiveness of Atlanta businesses and stimulate the creation of jobs and wealth through investments in innovative early-stage businesses.
The JumpFund launched its second fund in early 2017 and has already made investments in 9 women-led ventures, five of which are follow-on investments in current portfolio companies. JumpFund experienced early success with its investment in Partpic, an Atlanta-based company founded by CEO Jewel Burks, which sold to Amazon in 2016. JumpFund partners with other “gender lens” investors across the U.S., including Golden Seeds and Next Wave Impact Fund, which also encourages more women to invest in early stage, women-led ventures.
Managing Partner Kristina Montague states, “we are investing in the change we want to see by engaging women’s capital to invest in women-led ventures with a vision to ultimately level the playing field for women building successful, high growth companies.” While JumpFund I had only women investors, JumpFund II has a “few good men” investing who also see the return potential and market gap for women entrepreneurs.
JumpFund II will continue to work with accelerators, incubators, and funding partners throughout the Southeast to find early-stage ventures with strong women leadership. For more information on the JumpFund and its current portfolio, please visit www.thejumpfund.com.