Disruption Ventures

Size of fund:
Seed, Early

It wasn't until after she'd raised about $15 million for two startups and had successful exits that Elaine Kunda realized how hard it was for women to raise venture capital. "I'd always had the backing of Relay [Ventures]," she says. "They brought me in to be CEO of two of their companies, so I guess that gave me credibility." After both those companies were sold, Kunda's friends and colleagues would send her pitch decks from women entrepreneurs whose companies, says Kunda, were "much better qualified and much further along than some of the male-owned companies I'd seen get funded." But the women never seemed to get equity funding, and in 2018, Kunda set out to do something about it. Her new fund, Disruption Ventures, is being incubated within the offices of Relay, which is based in both Silicon Valley and Toronto. Kunda has closed on $13 million of a proposed $30 million to $50 million fund, from which she hopes to make about a dozen investments of $500,000 to $1 million each (and to reserve the rest for follow-on funding). Kunda specifically sought out a bank as an anchor investor—in this case Scotiabank--because she also wants to be able to help her portfolio companies get business loans when appropriate. Disruption is looking for women-founded (or co-founded) companies across North America that are raising for seed or Series A funding. Disruption's first investment, announced in May 2019: Hostfully, a B2B software company for the short-term rental market.