Peanut, a women’s social network, has announced that it has launched a new microfund.
According to TechCrunch, the StartHER microfund is designed to invest in pre-seed startups led by women. Officially, the outlet confirms that the microfund looks for pre-seed startups led by “historically excluded founders of all ages, life stages, ethnicities and sexual orientations.”
The pre-seed funding round, typically called the “friends and family round” (so named because that’s who normally provides the funding for the startup), is often the most difficult to get funded in general. This pre-seed round becomes doubly difficult to fund when the founder is from a historically excluded group.
And this, according to the Peanut CEO, is the gap that they’re looking to close.
“Peanut’s StartHER fund opens the door to founders looking for that early funding. It’s our opportunity to finally level the playing field. We want to be the family these founders can turn to, opening the door to our professional networks too,” said Michelle Kennedy, in a statement about the launch to TechCrunch.
The StartHER fund will write checks between $25,000 and $50,000 — the typical pre-seed investment — to qualified applicants. And according to Kennedy, the focus will be specifically on applicants who are under-represented and “diverse.”
“We’re heavily focused on making the right investments that will have the most impact versus simply making returns. For StartHER, our goal is not to make X number of investments for X returns, but to diversify the VC funnel by serving as an entry point to capital for underrepresented founders,” she said.
If your business is interested in qualifying for the Peanut StartHER fund, the applications are being accepted on a rolling basis, and the committee meets every six months to discuss whether an applicant qualifies for the fund. To apply for the StartHER fund, click here.