Role models like Falguni Nayar and Kiran Mazumdar Shaw are bringing a change in the ecosystem

At TechSparks 2021, YourStory Media’s flagship event, Diane Janknegt, Anuradha Acharya and Sunitha Ramaswamy spoke on the declining numbers of women in the workforce, challenges in raising funds, and more.

The latest Female Labour Force Participation rate also shows a consistent decline to 16.1 percent during the July-September 2020 quarter. All this data reflects that while the pandemic has ravaged several livelihoods, women-owned and led enterprises have borne a more significant brunt of the loss.

The funding conundrum
Anu Acharya, founder of MapMyGenome shared her journey of fund-raising in the tech space. 

“We raised two rounds of funding at Ocimum – the first company I started before MapMyGenome – almost $20 million, but it was primarily for acquisition purposes as we wanted to acquire companies that could give us technologies that we couldn’t build in that short span. We made three acquisitions in the Netherlands, Germany, and the US, and it helped us build databases and give us the intellectual property.”

When it came to MapMyGenome, Anu looked at angel investors who had an interest in healthcare and so it would allow them to build the right connections in the space and to be able to find other opportunities that they could leverage to accelerate the startup. While Anu agrees that she has not been too keen on funding so far, she believes fundraising can help MapMyGenome scale up.

While Anu talked about her fundraising journey, women entrepreneurs must consider when to raise, how much to raise, who to raise from and what to do with the capital raised before raising funds.