Sara Brand and Kerry Rupp of True Wealth Ventures

As the only Austin venture capitalists who explicitly seek out women-led companies, Sara Brand and Kerry Rupp are already trailblazers. But the data show the True Wealth Ventures general partners could become the vanguard of a seismic shift in investment strategy. Multiple studies and reports during the past seven years alone have found that companies led by women or with women on the executive team outperform those that don’t. Yet Brand and Rupp point out that women-led startups account for just 2 percent of VC funding, while those with a woman in leadership compose only 15 percent of those dollars.

When combined with evidence the two cite that women make between 80 percent and 85 percent of health care and consumer-purchase decisions, their business tack seems like a no-brainer. Brand, who founded True Wealth Ventures, said she plans to close the firm’s first fund — targeted at $20 million — at the end of January.

Beyond that, Brand said she intends to “focus on finding the best women-led companies with innovative solutions to environmental and human health challenges — and deploy millions of dollars in capital to grow and scale these solutions out into the markets.” Rupp added that she aims to be “much more proactive in learning about companies” that are investment options. “We’d like to diversify,” she said. Rupp said interested female founders whose companies make sustainably-sourced consumer products or are in the health care sector should start by perusing the firm’s website to see if the startup might be a fit for their strategy.

— Mike Cronin, @ABJTech

Original article posted here.