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videos | IST

Kalaari Capital launches $10 million CXXO fund for women entrepreneurs in India

Only one Indian unicorn has a woman founder-CEO and just five Indian unicorns have a woman co-founder. As the list of unicorns gets fatter, faster than ever before, women find themselves to be rarer than the rare startups in this elite club. In an effort to support, mentor and fund women entrepreneurs - Kalaari Capital has launched CXXO - a dedicated $10 million fund that will invest in start-ups with women founders and CEOs.

Only one Indian unicorn has a woman founder-CEO and just five Indian unicorns have a woman co-founder. As the list of unicorns gets fatter, faster than ever before, women find themselves to be rarer than the rare startups in this elite club.
Long-standing societal tethers aside, there is also a funding bias against women-founder CEOs. Between January 2018 and June 2020, women-led startups received just 1.43 percent of total funding, according to Makers India report. This disparity at the top is a reflection of how uneven the playing field truly is for women entrepreneurs.
India has the third-biggest gender gap in entrepreneurship across the world. Although women account for nearly 49 percent of total population in India, they constitute only 14 percent of total entrepreneurs, as per government data.
There is a real need to level the playing field and champion the next generation of women founder-CEOs in India. In an effort to support, mentor and fund women entrepreneurs - Kalaari Capital has launched CXXO - a dedicated $10 million fund that will invest in start-ups with women founders and CEOs.
In India, there are not many women business owners, not as many as there should be. Besides the burden of domesticity, women entrepreneurs have faced greater business closures due to cash shortages during the pandemic, as access to finance remained the single-biggest challenge.
The CXXO initiative seeks to change this by offering seed and Series-A funding up to $5 million. That's in addition to providing a community of mentors and coaches to guide the cohort of 8-10 female founder-CEOs each year.
So how do women founder-CEOs navigate an unequal ecosystem? To discuss this, Shereen Bhan spoke to Vani Kola, Managing Director at Kalaari Capital; Priyanka Gill, Co-Founder & President of MyGlamm; Ankiti Bose, Co-Founder & CEO of Zilingo and Prerna Jhunjhunwala, Founder of Creative Galileo.
Watch video for entire discussion.