The Female Innovators Lab Fund — Why We Partnered With Aviva

Katie Palencsar
Anthemis Insights
Published in
3 min readOct 4, 2022

Last week, the Anthemis Female Innovators Lab Fund (FIL), the largest early-stage fund solely focused on investing in female founders in fintech, unveiled a partnership with Aviva — a leading insurance, wealth management, and retirement business — to expand investment in female founded fintech businesses across the US, Canada, the UK, and Europe, in addition to providing further support through our venture studio/lab.

This new capital and strategic partnership with Aviva brings complementary insight and expertise to FIL’s existing LP base — especially around insurance, wealth, and retirement solutions, which are core to early stage fintech innovations.

Aviva’s 325-year track record, and its 18.5 million customers in the UK, Ireland and Canada, reflect its core values of innovating for the future needs of customers, people, and society. Aviva’s long-standing support for increasing female leadership makes it a perfect match for Anthemis Female Innovators Lab Fund’s commitment to cultivating sustainable and equitable innovation through the financial services ecosystem.

Established in 2019 as a fund and venture studio in partnership with Barclays, the Anthemis Female Innovators Lab Fund has since tripled its fund size, expanded its global investment footprint across North America, the UK, and Europe, and supported numerous companies from launch through follow-on funding rounds.

Over the past three years, Barclays has doubled its investment in the fund, supported its global expansion, and has also provided deep SME to portfolio companies and pathways to partners. Rise, created by Barclays, has also been made available to Female Innovators Lab portfolio companies, driving greater awareness around our joint mission of attaining gender equity in the fintech ecosystem.

Since inception, the Female Innovators Lab Fund team has met with thousands of companies across embedded finance, fintech, insurtech, DeFi, and crypto. Its portfolio now includes Addition (US), DwellWell (US), Kinly (US), Clutch Wallet (US), Pile (Germany), and many more.

The Female Innovators Lab team has also added numerous women investors to the team in both US and UK/European markets. These women bring strong operator and founder backgrounds, as well as financial service expertise, to their work alongside specialized team members focused on talent, tech, product, and marketing through the firm’s venture studio.

As women are two times more likely than men to invest in female founders, Anthemis’ focus on hiring diverse investing teams since day one — 57% of decision-makers on the investment team are women, 54% of investment team members are women and 52% of the broader Anthemis team are women — has led the way in the industry. By comparison, in 2020, only about 12% of decision-makers at VC firms were women, and most firms still operate without a single female partner.

Aviva, under CEO Amanda Blanc, has also embraced diverse teams and leaders. Blanc became the 2021 UK Government’s Women in Finance Champion as a beacon for their Women in Finance Charter, an initiative urging firms in London to commit to increasing gender diversity.

The trifecta of Anthemis, Barclays, and Aviva ensures best-in-class venture capital, company building, financial services, and insurance expertise, as fintech founders look for value-add investors to support them in building sustainable businesses at scale.

With a focus on female founders, female investors, and strategically aligned partners, we view Female Innovators Lab Fund as a pathway to a massive untapped financial market opportunity, with far-reaching effects and virtuous cycles in the financial and insurance ecosystems.

To learn more about the Female Innovators Lab Fund, or to pitch us, visit our website or email us at



Katie Palencsar
Anthemis Insights

Renaissance woman. Founder. Investor. Early Stage Builder @anthemis