Promotion at Battery boosts ranks of female venture investors

SAN FRANCISCO Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:00am EST

SAN FRANCISCO Feb 18 (Reuters) - Battery Ventures has promoted Chelsea Stoner to general partner, the firm announced on Tuesday, making her a rare senior female partner in the ranks of venture capital.

The promotion comes as venture-capital firms draw criticism for lacking women in top ranks and for promoting clubby, old-boy atmospheres. A recent study in Fortune showed that just 4.2 percent of senior venture professionals are female, compared with 4.6 percent of female chief executive officers among the Fortune 500.

Firms that lack women among their most senior investing partners include Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark and Sequoia Capital. Accel Partners' highest-ranking female investment professional, Theresia Gouw, said earlier this month she was leaving to co-found Aspect Ventures with Jennifer Fonstad, a former managing director at Draper Fisher Jurvetson.

Stoner, who specializes in software and healthcare technology, has invested in companies such as insurance-software business Guidewire Software Inc, which went public at $13 a share two years ago and is now trading at around $50.

She serves on the boards of sales-tax software business Avalara, home-healthcare company Brightree, medical-laboratory company Data Innovations, and financial-software company Intacct, whose $45 million funding round she led for Battery.

She joined Battery in 2006.