The Forbes Midas list of top venture capitalists includes 12 women

From our Women's PE Briefs - week commencing April 19, 2021

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The number of women on the Forbes Midas list of top venture capitalists rose, returning to a record level. A total of 12 women VC made the 100-person list, up from the 11 who made it in 2020 and equal to the record number who made it 2019. This year’s list features four women who were not on last year’s list: Pear VC’s Mar Hershenson, Gaocheng Capital’s Jing Hong, Sequoia Capital’s Luciana Lixandru and Atypical VenturesRuby Lu. The eight who returned to this year’s list from last year’s are Bond Capital’s Mary Meeker, who once again was the highest-ranked woman at 21; ZhenFund’s Anna Fang; GGV Capital’s Jenny Lee; Capital Today’s Kathy Xu, Qiming Venture PartnersNisa Leung; Forerunner VenturesKirsten Green; Accel’s Sonali De Rycker; and Floodgate’s Ann Miura-Ko. Falling off the list were Westlake Village BioPartnersDr. Beth Seidenberg, Acrew Capital’s Theresia Gouw and Cowboy VenturesAileen Lee. Theresia had been on the list nine of the prior 10 years.

The Midas list provides a five-year look-back at a partner’s portfolio, with exits by IPO or acquisition of $200 million or more and private holdings that raised money at valuations of $400 million or more over that period. Forbes produces the list in partnership with TrueBridge Capital Partners. 2020 was the first time since 2013 that the number of women on the list had dropped. It had grown from three in 2013 to four in 2014 to five in 2015 and 2016, six in 2017, nine in 2018 and then the dozen in 2019 before last year’s decline.

Additionally, five other women VCs were named to the Midas Brink List, a group who are seen as being poised to land on a future Midas list. They are: Lauren Kolodny, a founding partner with Acrew Capital; Sarah Cannon, a partner with Index Ventures; Jenny Lefcourt, a general partner with Freestyle; Reshma Sohoni, co-founder and managing partner with Seedcamp; and Julie Yoo, a general partner with Andreessen Horowitz. Last year, four women made it on the list – down from five in 2019. 

At No. 21, Mary dropped from the No. 8 spot that she had held for the past two years. Forbes said her most notable deal is Instacart, a change from the past two years when the publication said it was Spotify – which went public in 2018.

Anna, who is partner and CEO of ZhenFund, had the biggest jump among the seven returning women as she went from 91st to 26th. Forbes said her most notable deal was Yatsen. She has now made the list three years in a row.

Mar entered the list at 29th on the strength of DoorDash. She and her Pear co-founder Pejman Nozad, who is 15th on the list, also invested in Guardant Health, which went public in December. She is a past speaker at the Women’s Private Equity Summit.

Jenny of GGV rose in 2021 to 33rd from 35th in 2020. Forbes said her notable investment was Kingsoft WPS. She is also a past speaker at the Women’s Private Equity Summit.

Jing, the founding partner at Gaocheng Capital, was 39th. Her investments have included Alibaba, Meituan, Didi and Youzan. Gaocheng closed a $300 million fund in 2020.

Kathy, the founding partner of Capital Today, slid from 14th to 71st. In 2019, she was 6th and the highest ranked woman. Forbes said her notable investment was Xingsheng Youxuan, a community shopping platform that was valued at $4 billion in February. Her investments also include such companies as now public JD.com, Three Squirrels Snack Food, Bestore Snack Food Chain and Meituan Dianping.

Nisa, a managing partner with Qiming Venture Partners, dropped from 33rd to 73rd. She debuted on the list in 2019 at No. 54. Forbes said her notable deal was Gan & Lee Pharmaceuticals, which went public last June on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Kirsten, who founded Forerunner, was right behind Nisa at 74th. She was 86th in 2020 after being 95th in 2019. Forbes once again said her most notable deal was Chime. Kirsten is also a past speaker at the Women’s Private Equity Summit.

Sonali, a partner with Accel, was 83rd, after being 81st in 2020. She was 83rd as well in 2019. Forbes once again identified her most notable deal as being Spotify.

Ann, co-founding partner of Floodgate, returned to the list at No. 89. She was 96th in 2020, 57th in 2019, 55th in 2018 and 77th in 2017. Lyft, which went public in 2019, was listed as her notable deal.

Luciana, a partner with Sequoia, makes her debut on the list at No. 99. She joined Sequoia in 2020 from Accel and, in fact, the deal that Forbes cites as her most notable is one that she made at Accel: UiPath. The company is currently in registration to go public.

Ruby, the founder of Atypical Ventures, makes her debut at 100. Forbes cited her notable deal as Kuaishou, an online video company that went public in February.

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