"The cavalry is not coming. You are the cavalry", Mark Duplass.

Cavalry is a term used to describe warriors who fight mounted on horseback. Cavalry was commonly used from the Iron Age, i.e. 4000 years ago, until WWII. Being faster and more heavily armed than most soldiers on foot, having the cavalry coming during a battle was a sign of victory, and an unexpected hope when everything seemed to be lost.

The popularity of this unit was such that it soon got adapted in plethora of myths and legends, such as the Norse mythology. Women warriors mounting winged horses, the Valkyries are mythological figures that have transcended time and are still well-known to this day.

More than being just combat unit, Valkyries were leading the souls of those slain in battle. Tending a friendly hand in the middle of a bloody battlefield, Valkyries were the promise of a better and eternal life, catching a soldier before they'd exhale their last breath, flying to a well deserved peace.

Our civilisation will only be able to prosper if we create, improve, innovate. In this venture, humanity can rely on women, to build the future, to lead us all.

One giant leap for mankind

On Thursday 9th November, 2023, Playfair and 150 of the world’s leading venture capital funds, including Atomico, Creandum, Headline, MMC, Northzone, Octopus, Partech, Plug & Play, SpeedInvest, and TriplePoint will be holding remote office hours for more than 300 female founders from across Europe.

Dispensing with the need for warm introductions and breaking down the barriers to investment, each founder will have the opportunity to meet four investors over one hour of remote office hours to discuss their tech idea, seek advice, pitch for investment or be mentored.

The event is being held by Playfair as part of their long-term commitment to address the gender imbalance in venture funding and will continue the use of AI matching technology. This technology improves the relevance of founder to investor matching, and increases the likelihood of relevant conversations and, ultimately, funding being secured.

The previous nine editions saw a total of 7,800 individual mentoring sessions with over 2,000 founders and 200+ investors taking part. To date, 25% of founders have gone on to raise funding after attending an event, with recent success stories including SpottittMuse FinanceDayeWhoppahShopperMaxwelliaSideQuest VR and Material Evolution. This amounts to £1.2B in total funding that has been disclosed.

"Participating in Playfair Capital's Female Founder Office Hours was a game-changer for our company. The support, mentorship, and networking opportunities provided by this initiative were invaluable in helping us secure the funding we needed to scale our business. I am a strong advocate for FFOH and believe it plays a crucial role in levelling the playing field for women and AFAB folks in the startup ecosystem." says Valentina Milanova, Founder and CPO of Daye.

A prosperous precursor

Founded by Federico Pirzo-Biroli, one of the early pioneers of the London tech ecosystem, Playfair is a sector agnostic fund with a contrarian approach to pre-seed investing: bringing discipline, diligence, dedication and depth of thought to an intentionally low volume of investments. The venture exists to nurture the most promising founders of today to build the category-defining companies of tomorrow.

Following his time spent working at startups, charities and NGOs post-graduation, Federico started his angel career in 2011. He then developed a passion for investing in and working with startups. He backed 22 companies over the next 2 years across a broad range of sectors and technologies.

Spotting a gap in the market for a firm that combines the best aspects of angel investing with the scale and resources of a fund, he founded Playfair in 2013 and brought a team of partners and investors on board.

Today, the team has grown to 10 people, who all share a genuine devotion to the startup world and are focused on delivering the best possible outcomes for all the founders they work with.