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Investor Spotlight: WinEquity

WinEquity co-founder Florence Richardson breaks down the strategy behind the early-stage investment fund that backs female founders.

WinEquity co-founders Florence Richardson (left) and Cécile Bassot

What: WinEquity is an investor-entrepreneur Seed fund that exclusively backs startups with at least one woman on the founding team.

WinEquity co-founder Florence Richardson said they faced a lot of skepticism when starting the fund two years ago. But during two years of investing, she said there have been no issues finding high-quality female-led startups.

"Other people said, well, you'll never get the deal flow you need," Richardson said. "And that's not been an issue at all. If you look for female deal flow, you get it."

Number of investments: 6

Size of investments: WinEquity backs startups from any sector that have a proof of concept. The firm co-invests by writing checks ranging from €100,000 to €200,000 in startups raising rounds between €500,000 and €3 million. The company has not disclosed the size of its first fund, but the plan is to make a total of 10 investments. WinEquity has about 100 investors, including about two-thirds women.

What's notable: WinEquity was co-founded by Florence Richardson and Cécile Bassot.

Richardson previously spent 15 years as an executive at Crédit Lyonnais and 8 years as an entrepreneur before selling her company. Bassot has 30 years of experience in general management (Kea & Partners), lobbying, and international communications (Sopexa).

For the past 20 years, the pair have been key members of Femmes
Business Angels, a network of 170 women business angels in France and
Europe. Richardson stepped down as president after almost a decade in June and Bassot is Vice President. Each of them holds around thirty stakes in innovative start-ups, are members of a dozen strategic committees, and sit on the investment committees of other Seed funds.

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