Report: 654 Cybersecurity Startups Raised VC Funding in 2020 and 2021, Only 22 Are Led by Women CEOs

    In 2021, the Fortune Global 500 reported an all-time high of 23 women CEOs. However, the cybersecurity startup space is far behind meeting a similar ratio.

    A new report by risk-based vulnerability management platform NopSec found that of 654 cybersecurity startups that received more than $1 million in funding in 2020 and 2021, only 22 (or 3%) were led by female CEOs.

    NopSec CEO, Lisa Xu, said that International Women’s Day sparked her curiosity into the research: “There are dozens of articles that talk about the need to bring more women into cybersecurity and plenty of these companies celebrated International Women’s Day on social media. But I didn’t see any hard numbers that showed just how many of the industry’s startups raising capital are led by women.”

    The company says that they’ll take the lead on measuring the progress that’s being made, measuring all cybersecurity startups that have raised more than $1 million in funding and publish updated numbers.

    “We are doing this because before we can expect to see progress made to solve this problem, we all need to know where we stand. What gets measured gets improved. We’ll take on the responsibility of monitoring funding going to women-led cybersecurity companies but it will be up to investors to determine what gets improved. Investors backing more female CEOs who are running cybersecurity companies will bring more women into cybersecurity — it’s truly that simple,” says Xu.


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