Gender Diversity in Start-Up Investment: New Study Shows Huge Gender Disparity in UK, the startup platform that aims to democratise access to investment has analysed the gender diversity of the 1400+ startups that have used it’s platform to raise money in its first year and the results are in – revealing a huge gender disparity among male and female startups in the UK.

Female founder led startups are seriously behind the curve when it comes to volume of overall startups seeking investment on a global level.

However, the DeckSender research reveals that, surprisingly, the UAE is leading the way with a remarkable 70% of startups being by led by Female founders.   The UK languishes at 16th position in the list with just 12% of startups from female founders. The DeckSender global average for female founders sits at 21% currently, so the UK is well behind other nations.

DeckSender is hoping that as more people become aware of the platform, that DeckSender can be at the forefront of breaking down the barriers to investment that people from all walks of life, especially from backgrounds that are under represented face at the investment stage.

Top Countries globally where women founders are raising investment:

Country Female founders
United Arab Emirates






New Zealand


















South Africa




United States


United Kingdom














*21% is the global average percentage of founders seeking startup investment that are female

**DeckSender have stripped out from this table any countries with 100% counts to avoid skewing the data

How much are female startups raising versus male startups?

Only in Israel, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, United Kingdom & the United States are female founders asking for more than male founders.

Of the 66 countries worldwide represented on the DeckSender platform, just 19 of them (28%) have both male & female founders competing for investment. 44 countries (66%) are 100% male dominated. Just 3 countries (4.5%), are 100% female founder dominated.

In the 19 countries where both male and female founders are competing for investment, the average female founder ask is 846k versus 912k for male founders, almost 8% less.

In the 19 countries where both male and female founders are competing for investment, there are 13 countries (68%) where male founders ask for more than their female counterparts, on average they are asking for a whopping 6.5x the female founders ask.

In the 19 countries where both male and female founders are competing for investment, there are 6 countries (31%) where female founders ask for more than male founders, the multiple asked is half at 3.3x the male founders ask.

Country Av Female Ask Av Male Ask Male Ask Multiple Female Ask Multiple
Australia 220,000.00 532,187.50 2.42
Canada 100,000.00 381,428.57 3.81
China 100,000.00 1,500,000.00 15.00
Denmark 50,000.00 150,000.00 3.00
Estonia 1,000,000.00 1,203,125.00 1.20
Germany 683,333.33 1,375,000.00 2.01
Ireland 453,333.33 2,110,714.29 4.66
Israel 2,000,000.00 1,450,000.00 1.38
Kenya 300,000.00 569,428.57 1.90
Mexico 250,000.00 300,000.00 1.20
Netherlands 50,000.00 1,250,000.00 25.00
New Zealand 4,000,000.00 775,000.00 5.16
Nigeria 1,578,750.00 240,678.57 6.56
Philippines 200,000.00 66,666.67 3.00
Romania 50,000.00 663,333.33 13.27
South Africa 375,000.00 1,187,142.86 3.17
United Arab Emirates 180,000.00 1,500,000.00 8.33
United Kingdom 722,311.33 607,932.93 1.19
United States 3,764,117.65 1,481,341.38 2.54
Averages 846,149.77 912,841.04 6.54 3.30

*DeckSender data presented is for Seed stage investment only

Mirror mirror on the wall, who are the smartest founders of all?

When it comes to who and where are the smartest startup founders, it’s a solid win for female founders.

Female founders are comprehensively outranking male founders when it comes to the number of founders who hold a PHD qualification. The DeckSender global average for founders holding a PHD stands at 2.8% for males but 6.3% of females. Female founders from the USA have a massive lead with 15% versus 2.4%. Some 6x compared to males.

Location Female Founders with phd Male founders with phd
US 15% 2.40%
UK 5.40% 3%
RoW 5.70% 2.70%
ALL 6.30% 2.80%

A summary from Mike & Doug

Mike Sutton, co-founder of DeckSender comments

DeckSender is excited to release these figures on gender inequality in our investment ecosystem. We’re excited because we are both shining a light on the inequalities around the world for female founders but also shining a beacon in the sky saying “things are hopefully changing for the better”.

“If you look at the numbers from the UAE, 70% of founders using DeckSender are female. Our mission is democratising access to investment, this stands out to us and makes us happy to see. We’re excited for what’s coming over the next 12 months as we look to add more investors in different parts of the world to expand our global reach for Startup’s but also reach more Startup’s and ambitious founders outside of the traditional investment hubs of London, Berlin, New York, San Francisco & Singapore no matter their backgrounds or gender. Also, the fact that 17% of Startups using DeckSender to pitch for investment get through to investment committee stage versus the accepted industry figure of about 8% makes me smile as we’re achieving our goal of getting people through the doors at investment firms. ”

Doug Scott, co-founder of DeckSender also said

There is talent globally but investment does not seem to match the diversity of people and places and so access is limited. The world needs more founders to bring their ideas and talents forwards to help address the challenges we face, DeckSender is our attempt to make that easier.

“Hopefully we can keep shining a light on issues such as these in our industry and help everyone involved move forward to become a more inclusive, exciting and fair ecosystem. As we grow and reach more founders hopefully we’ll have some better numbers at the end of 2020 that show we’re making investment more accessible to everyone. Also, we’d love to be able to give a little more meat on the bone as to why male founders are asking so much more and why there are so many are female founders with phd’s in the US etc, and as we grow we’ll start asking for more information from founders so sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date on what we are doing and learning if this kind of report is interesting to you.”