- A young investor who shook up European venture capital on its shocking diversity record is now raising her own fund.
- Check Warner, cofounder of Diversity VC, is raising a $30 million fund called Ada Ventures alongside angel investor Matt Penneycard.
- Warner and Penneycard both formerly worked at Downing Ventures and have named their new fund after female computer science trailblazer Ada Lovelace.
- Business Insider understands that the new venture is still in the process of fundraising.
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The young investor who shook up European venture capital’s approach to diversity is now striking out and raising her own $30 million fund.
Francesca “Check” Warner is the cofounder of Diversity VC, and is the fund through a new venture capital firm called Ada Ventures along with angel investor Matt Penneycard.
Both Warner and Penneycard formerly worked at early-stage investor Downing Ventures and have named their new fund after female computer science trailblazer Ada Lovelace.
Two sources close to the new fund confirmed that the pair were in the process of raising a new fund but that it hadn’t yet closed.
One source said the British Business Bank is involved in some of the fundraising. The British Business Bank is state-owned and often commits capital to new funds.
Ada Partners is named in Companies House with Warner and Penneycard as officers while a website entry reads: “See what’s possible. Coming soon.”
Warner declined to comment.
Ada Lovelace was a mathematician and pioneer in the field of computer science, and is thought to have written the first algorithm for Charles Babbage’s “Analytical Engine”, a very early computer. She was the only legitimate child of famed poet Lord Byron.
Some of Penneycard’s prior investments include Twizoo, a user generated social content company which was bought by Skyscanner in 2017 and Smile Identity, an emerging markets user verification app.
Warner has made her mark on the European investment scene as the cofounder of Diversity VC, a lobby group that highlights the lack of diversity among startup investors. Diversity VC found that a tiny proportion of the top decision-makers at investment firms were women, and many firms have zero female representation. The group’s research has been a wake-up call to the industry. Warner cofounded the group alongside Travis Winstanley, Lillian Li, Anna Huyghues-Despointes, and Farooq Abassi, in 2016.
Additional reporting by Shona Ghosh.
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