MergeLane to raise $20 million for new investment fund

BOULDER — MergeLane LLC, the investment fund focused on startups with at least one woman in leadership, is raising $20 million for its new MergeLane Highway Fund.

The $20 million fund is being raised with two goals in mind, Chief Investment Officer and co-founder Elizabeth Kraus told BizWest. The first is to invest in approximately 20 startups that have at least one woman in leadership. The investments will range from seed to Series A. The second is to make investments in venture capital funds with at least one female VC partner.

“The reason we’re doing that is, like startups, VC firms that have one woman in leadership statistically perform better,” Kraus said. “Women are three times more likely to invest in more women. Both help us achieve better returns in our fund and help us close the gender gap in the industry.”

To help make its investment decisions, MergeLane has a new fund it’s launched called the Funderator. It’s a 7-day program that incorporates two-and-a-half days of conscious leadership work to help startups become more self-aware and understand the patterns of their team members. That’s followed by four-and-a-half days of meeting with MergeLane’s network of nearly 300 mentors.

Kraus added that any company that is being considered for MergeLane’s venture funds that are accepted to the Funderator can participate free of charge, and that information gathered from the Funderator will be used for helping MergeLane make investment choices.

“Based on our experience in the investment of 41 companies with one woman in leadership, we feel this is the best way for us to recruit the most interesting companies with at least one woman in leadership,” Kraus said. “We can work side-by-side with those companies before making a substantial investment. It allows us to accelerate our portfolio companies by exposing them to the work we do in conscious leadership, as well as our mentor network.”

BOULDER — MergeLane LLC, the investment fund focused on startups with at least one woman in leadership, is raising $20 million for its new MergeLane Highway Fund.

The $20 million fund is being raised with two goals in mind, Chief Investment Officer and co-founder Elizabeth Kraus told BizWest. The first is to invest in approximately 20 startups that have at least one woman in leadership. The investments will range from seed to Series A. The second is to make investments in venture capital funds with at least one female VC partner.

“The reason we’re doing that is, like startups, VC firms that have one woman in leadership statistically perform better,” Kraus said. “Women are three times more likely to invest in more women. Both help us achieve better returns in our fund and help us close the gender gap in the industry.”

To help make its investment decisions, MergeLane has a new fund it’s launched called the Funderator. It’s a 7-day program that incorporates two-and-a-half days of conscious leadership work to help startups become more self-aware and understand the patterns of their team members. That’s followed by four-and-a-half days of meeting with MergeLane’s network of nearly 300 mentors.

Kraus added that any company that is being considered for MergeLane’s venture funds that are accepted to the Funderator can participate free of charge, and that information gathered from the Funderator will be used for helping MergeLane make investment choices.

“Based on our experience in the investment of 41 companies with one woman in leadership, we feel this…