At the end of last year, the 2018 State of European Tech report revealed another record year of investment, writes Andrew Wolfson managing director at Pembroke Venture Capital Trust.
An impressive $23bn was invested in firms such as iZettle, Revolut, and Monzo, up from $5bn in 2013.
Beneath the record-breaking headlines, however, a different trend emerged.
The report found that all-male founding teams received 93% of funding and accounted for 85% of all deals over the year.
Meanwhile, nearly half of all women polled said they had experienced discrimination. This comes despite 75% of the report's 5,000 participants stating that the culture at their employer is inclusive.
The work concluded that Europe needs to fix its diversity and inclusion problem urgently, calling the bias towards men 'shocking'.
Skype co-founder and one of the authors of the report, Niklas Zennström added: "This statistic is the tip of the iceberg. Women and minorities are underrepresented at every level of the ecosystem. Corporate policy on diversity and inclusion is still way behind where it needs to be".
The statistics make for grim reading and the industry needs to undertake a widespread review of its funding procedures in order to redress this balance.
Gender has never been a key consideration for us when searching for young British businesses in which to invest. Instead, we focus on identifying founders that are both emotionally and financially supportive of their brand. It is these individuals that are most likely to turn a small firm into a market-leading success story. In essence we invest in the person as much as we do the business opportunity.
This approach has naturally led us to invest in some excellent opportunities in companies run by both women and men in equal measure.
After identifying brand strength and disruptive potential, we analyse a company's management team before deciding on investing. As a result, we think the issues found in the report provide even more support for a gender-agnostic investment approach.
Whether a board consists of men and women is not a deciding factor to us. We look for founders who have a vision and are ambitious and passionate about their brand.
Owners should be emotionally invested. They must commit themselves throughout the potential lows, rather than just the highs. These qualities filter down the through a company and are key to its success.
They should also offer a robust knowledge of their market and an ability to fix issues in areas like supply chain and distribution. It is hard to disrupt a sector if management does not know it inside out and throws money at a problem to sort it.
Finally, we want management teams that are invested financially in their business. This 'skin-in-the-game' shows a long-term commitment. It also ensures the alignment of shareholder and management interests.