How Northwestern Mutual Plans To Help Women-Led Startups With $20 Million In Venture Capital

By Amit Chowdhry ● October 25, 2019
  • Northwestern Mutual recently announced it is committing $20 million of its corporate venture capital for women-led startups

Northwestern Mutual recently announced it is committing $20 million of its corporate venture capital towards startups that were founded by women. The investment will be made through Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures.

This funding allocation will help advance the company’s investment strategy of engaging startups whose clients experience financial security and will increase focus on technological advancements.

Currently, female-founded startups receive less than 3% of the estimated $80 billion venture capital investments provided to businesses every year. And companies founded by both men and women receive around 8% of the total capital, which comes second to male-founded companies that receive 89% of all venture capital invested globally each year. These stats were found in the Crunchbase News Q2 2019 Diversity Report.

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“Women play an essential role in financial decision-making for themselves and their families and by investing in women-owned startups, we can create more opportunities for women through a dedication of funds, but also gain strategic insights to better serve our clients,” said Souheil Badran, chief operating officer and executive vice president at Northwestern Mutual. “We’re committed to supporting female entrepreneurs and providing access to capital and resources to help them grow their businesses. Allocating $20 million is only the beginning – we will continue to invest in and provide opportunities for female founders.”

Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures’ investment criteria are based on these key strategic areas of focus: 1.) Building for consumers’ changing financial preferences 2.) Reimagining the client experience 3.) The digital health revolution and 4.) Transformational analytics and technologies.

Ever since the Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures fund launched in 2017, it invested more than $50 million in 18 startups that are aligned with the investment strategy and goals of Northwestern Mutual. Besides providing venture capital, Northwestern Mutual also offers major resources at the scale of a major financial Fortune 500 company.

The Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures team includes Badran; venture partner Craig Schedler; venture associate Marie-Christine Razaire; Vice President – Investment Strategy Jeb Bentley; Vice President Corporate Strategy Andrew DeGuire; VP, Corporate CIO and Head of Digital Innovation Karl Gouverneur; Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Christian Mitchell; and VP Research and Analytics Jason Von Bergen.

Northwestern Mutual originally launched over 160 years ago and it helps families and businesses navigate their financial lives every day. And Northwestern Mutual has $272.2 billion in assets, $28.5 billion in revenues, and $1.8 trillion worth of life insurance protection. Plus the company offers financial security to more than 4.5 million people with life, disability income, and long-term care insurance, annuities, and brokerage, and advisory services. Plus Northwestern Mutual manages $128 billion of investments owned by its clients and held or managed through its wealth management and investment services businesses.

Photo Credit: Northwestern Mutual