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UK report spotlights the huge investment gap facing diverse founders – TechCrunch

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New research looking into how UK VC has been invested over the past decade according to race, gender and educational background makes for grim reading — with all-ethnic teams and female entrepreneurs receiving just a fraction of available funding vs all-white teams and male founders.

The finding of baked in bias holds true across all funding stages, per the findings.

The report, by the not-for-profit community interest company Extend Ventures, looked at how VC has been invested in the UK between 2009 and 2019 — providing data on 3,784 entrepreneurs who started 2,002 companies over this period. It found that all-ethnic teams received an average of just 1.7% of the venture capital investments made at seed, early and late stage over this decade.

The UK’s Black and Multi-Ethnic communities, meanwhile, now comprise 14% of the UK population.

“While all ethnic entrepreneurs are underfunded, those who are Black experience the poorest outcomes of all,” the report notes, finding just 38 Black entrepreneurs received VC funding over this decade. “Alongside their teams, they received just 0.24% of the total sum invested,” it adds.

Extend Ventures used machine learning and computer vision technology as a tool to understand demographic factors — “including age, perceived gender, ethnicity and educational background of founding members” — relying on a perception of ethnicity or gender to categorise founders for the research, based on analysis of publicly available images of entrepreneurs.

“Despite ethnicity usually being a self-determined categorisation, we believe this is justified because the data we collect is subsequently anonymised and is being used to improve access to capital,” they note on that, adding: “Ethnic or gender prejudice is dependent on the perception of the person holding the purse strings to funds.”

On gender the research underlines the scale of the challenge UK female entrepreneurs face in accessing VC funding vs male counterparts.

The report found that a large majority (68.33%) of the capital raised across the seed, early and late VC funding stages went to all-male teams; 28.80% to mixed gender teams; and just 2.87% to all-female teams, with female teams also raising lower sums of money than their male counterparts at each funding stage.

The picture is starkest for Black female entrepreneurs in the UK who were found to experience the poorest outcomes.

“A total of 10 female entrepreneurs of Black appearance received venture capital investment (0.02% of the total amount invested) across the 10-year period, with none so far receiving late-stage funding,” the report notes.

It also found just one early stage (Series A or B) venture capital investment recorded for a Black female, compared to 194 early stage investments in White female entrepreneurs.

Extend Ventures’ research also looked at educational background — spotlighting the role of elite universities in the distribution of venture capital in the country.

Here the report found that 42.72% of UK VC invested at seed stage during the period was invested in founding teams with at least one member from an elite educational background (narrowly defined to mean Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Stanford and their respective business schools).

In the UK, the debate about how to widen access for underrepresented students to the country’s top two universities has been raging for years — with progress towards diversification of the Oxbridge student body still hard to see.

The report illustrates one impact of this long-standing inequality around access to the elite education — as it shows it carries through to decreased opportunity, post-university, for accessing VC funding.

The implications for social justice and social mobility are clear.

“The data we have shown today is stark and makes for uncomfortable reading,” Extend Ventures’ co-founder and technology entrepreneur, Tom Adeyoola, told TechCrunch. “Only 0.24% of venture funding over the last 10 years going to (38) Black founders, 0.02% going to Black female founders. In addition 43% of all seed funding went to teams with at least one team member who went to an elite university.”

The report makes a series of recommendations — including calling for all venture funds to make data on their investments publicly available so they can be tracked to enable inclusive ongoing reporting on the industry’s performance on diversity.

It also suggests VC firms need to do more work to understand and establish what it describes as “the possible resilience criteria independent of race, gender and education that are indicators of success” — to use in their filtering processes going forward, as a way to guard against biased decisions.

Another recommendation is for the UK government to create an ‘Investing in Ethnic Founders Code’, mirroring the existing Investing in Women Code.

The report also calls for government to support inclusion via the creation of a Diverse Co-Investment Fund — which it suggests should be set at £1.8BN (14% of the $13.2BN annual UK VC total) — as a strategy to de-risk and improve the deployment of equity investment into Black, Asian and Ethnic-led venture capital funds.

We’ve reached out to the Treasury for comment on the recommendations.

“There is no longer any excuse for transparency and action to overcome clear biases,” said Adeyoola. “You can’t improve what you don’t measure and for all the talk around the Rose Review [UK Treasury-commissioned report into female entrepreneurship] and Black Lives Matter, action needs to translate into real investment into diverse founders to ensure that as a nation we are making the most of the diverse talent and resources we have.”

“The British Business Bank report released last week has already shown that there is no lack of ambition — just, as we now lay bare, a clear lack of financial capital,” he added.

Ada Ventures partner Check Warner, who is also co-founder and CEO of Diversity VC which supported the report, told us: “It’s extremely overdue getting this data, just like it was overdue getting data on the gender split of management teams in pipelines of VC funds and who received investment, which was a report that Diversity VC co-published with the British Business bank just last year, February 2019.

“The stats are extremely sobering. I would urge any Venture Capital fund who wants to meaningfully change these stats to explore the Diversity VC Standard in order to put in place the infrastructure to change these numbers by building inclusive pipelines, more diverse teams and supporting their portfolio companies to prioritise including and fostering diverse talent.”

Tweeting in support of the report, ex-Dragons Den investor and black businessman, Piers Linney, wrote: “We are leaving tens of billions on the table that would benefit the wealth of every citizen. We now have undeniable and depressing data showing that something is very wrong. Quietly filing these reports away is unacceptable.”

Reached for a response, UK founder network organization Tech Nation, which is credited with supporting the research, told us: “The Extend VC report highlights that just 12% of funding went to female founders, which is why Tech Nation is proactively working with Playfair Capital to provide office hours for female founders with leading VCs on November 5 and 12.

“Today’s report also showed that 91.5% of seed stage funding went to white founders compared to 1.1% to black founders, so Tech Nation has also partnered with 10×10 VC and Founders Factory to host black founder office hours on November 26,” CEO Gerard Grech also said, adding that the organization “will continue to support research when it comes to increasing inclusivity in tech and support I&D programmes and interventions which will make a real and positive difference”.

Passion Capital partner Eileen Burbidge — a female VC who, in 2018, was named on a list of the UK’s top 100 black and ethnic minority leaders by the Financial Times — also welcomed the research when we reached out.

“It’s great to see this data out there and I’m so glad that Extend Ventures, Impact X Capital Partners and Tech Nation have taken the time to collect and analyse the data,” she told TechCrunch.

“Sadly I’m not surprised by the findings and at Passion, given that one of the founding partners is of an ethnic minority group, we’ve always tried to be as inclusive as possible. But you can’t change or affect what isn’t measured, so this is a fantastic first step.”

“I’m glad this report will expand and further develop the conversation about how to make venture capital more accessible to all… across all educational backgrounds, social classes and ethnic & gender groups,” Burbidge added, saying she supports all the recommendations — “especially the ones that can have immediate action/impact” — and said she’d welcome being part of conservations aimed at making progress.

(As it happens, one of Passion Capital’s portfolio companies — the insurtech startup Marshmallow, which is led by two black twin co-founders, Oliver and Alexander Kent-Braham — has just announced a $30M fund raise on a $310M valuation for a product that also focuses on serving underserved segments of society.)

This report was updated with additional comment

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Ontario Increasing Investment in Video Surveillance Systems – Government of Ontario News

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Ontario Newsroom | Salle de presse de l’Ontario

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Dyson unveils £2.75bn investment plan in battery technology, robotics and machine learning – Proactive Investors USA & Canada

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Dyson said it plans to invest £2.75bn in battery technology, robotics, intelligent products, machine learning, connectivity and material science.

The private company, which is owned by Britain’s richest person, James Dyson, will focus investment on sites in Singapore, the UK and the Philippines, hiring engineers and scientists after it cut 900 jobs in July as part of a cost-cutting exercise.

Dyson said one of its main areas of focus is bringing its proprietary solid-state battery technology to market, which it claims will offer “safer, cleaner, longer-lasting and more efficient energy storage”.

“Now is the time to invest in new technologies such as energy storage, robotics and software which will drive performance and sustainability in our products for the benefit of Dyson’s customers,” said chief executive Roland Krueger.

“We will expand our existing product categories, as well as enter entirely new fields for Dyson over the next five years. This will start a new chapter in Dyson’s development.”

In the UK, the company said it was concentrating more investment on robotics research and artificial intelligence (AI) at its restored World War Two Hullavington airfield site ‘campus’.

New investments at Hullavington and Malmesbury, which employ over 4,000 people, will fund research in fields such as products for sustainable healthy indoor environments and wellbeing.

Dyson opened over 100 retail shops in 2019 and a further 30 in 2020 and the plan is to continue expanding its retail footprint.

Founder James Dyson topped the Sunday Times Rich List for the first time earlier this year, with his wealth increasing to an estimated £16.2bn.

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Manulife Investment Management Announces Estimated Cash Distributions for Manulife Exchange Traded Funds – Canada NewsWire

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C$ unless otherwise stated 

TSX/NYSE/PSE: MFC     SEHK: 945

TORONTO, Nov. 27, 2020 /CNW/ – Manulife Investment Management today announced the December 2020 cash distribution estimates for Manulife Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) that distribute semi-annually. Please note that these are estimated amounts only as of October 9, 2020, and reflect forward-looking information which may cause these estimates to change.

Unitholders of record of the Manulife ETFs at the close of business on December 31, 2020 will receive cash distributions payable on January 13, 2021. The ex-dividend date for the cash distributions is December 30, 2020.

Details of the distribution per unit amounts are as follows:

ETF

Ticker

Distribution Amount
(per unit)

Manulife Multifactor Canadian Large Cap Index ETF

MCLC

$ 0.120424

Manulife Multifactor U.S. Large Cap Index ETF – Unhedged

MULC.B

$ 0.205903

Manulife Multifactor U.S. Large Cap Index ETF – Hedged

MULC

$ 0.192679

Manulife Multifactor U.S. Mid Cap Index ETF – Unhedged

MUMC.B

$ 0.068462

Manulife Multifactor U.S. Mid Cap Index ETF – Hedged

MUMC

$ 0.049585

Manulife Multifactor Developed International Index ETF – Unhedged

MINT.B

$ 0.133343

Manulife Multifactor Developed International Index ETF – Hedged

MINT

$ 0.140300

Manulife Multifactor Canadian SMID Cap Index ETF

MCSM

$ 0.017269

Manulife Multifactor U.S. Small Cap Index ETF – Unhedged

MUSC.B

Manulife Multifactor U.S. Small Cap Index ETF – Hedged

MUSC

$ 0.047103

Manulife Multifactor Emerging Markets Index ETF

MEME.B

$ 0.156765

Manulife ETFs are managed by Manulife Investment Management Limited (formerly named Manulife Asset Management Limited). Manulife Investment Management is a trade name of Manulife Investment Management Limited. Commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with exchange traded funds (ETFs). Investment objectives, risks, fees, expenses and other important information are contained in the ETF Facts as well as the prospectus, please read before investing. ETFs are not guaranteed, their values change frequently, and past performance may not be repeated.

About Manulife Investment Management

Manulife Investment Management is the global wealth and asset management segment of Manulife Financial Corporation. We draw on more than a century of financial stewardship and the full resources of our parent company to serve individuals, institutions, and retirement plan members worldwide. Headquartered in Toronto, our leading capabilities in public and private markets are strengthened by an investment footprint that spans 17 countries and territories. We complement these capabilities by providing access to a network of unaffiliated asset managers from around the world. We’re committed to investing responsibly across our businesses. We develop innovative global frameworks for sustainable investing, collaboratively engage with companies in our securities portfolios, and maintain a high standard of stewardship where we own and operate assets, and we believe in supporting financial well-being through our workplace retirement plans. Today, plan sponsors around the world rely on our retirement plan administration and investment expertise to help their employees plan for, save for, and live a better retirement. 

As of September 30, 2020, Manulife Investment Management had CAD$923 billion (US$692 billion) in assets under management and administration. Not all offerings are available in all jurisdictions. For additional information, please visit manulifeim.com.

SOURCE Manulife Investment Management

For further information: Media Contact: Olivia Jones, Manulife, (438) 340-3416, [email protected]

Related Links

https://www.manulifeim.com/

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