Acrew Capital Closes $250 Million Early Stage Fund with Multi-generational Founding Team

Firm’s Team-based, Flexible Strategy Uniquely Tailored to Support Entrepreneurs

Palo Alto & San Francisco, CA.  December 18, 2019 — Acrew Capital today announced the closing of its first fund at $250 million, well above the top end of its original target range of $175 to $200 million. The firm’s approach combines a commitment to teamwork and diversity of perspective with a flexible investment strategy. The result is that Acrew can tailor a round based on the founding team’s goals and the company’s needs rather than pre-set investment constraints.

 

Commitment to Team

“We believe that successful companies are built by teams working together toward a common goal.  Venture investing should be no different,“ said Theresia Gouw, founding partner with Acrew. “We consider the teams we invest in to be a part of our larger team, and our entire team is available to support the companies we invest in.”

The firm’s name, Acrew Capital, reflects a view that both early stage investing and company building are best accomplished by high functioning teams that constantly evolve while maintaining a core commitment to the importance of team. Acrew’s definition of team is broad, including everyone on the entire Acrew team as well as the founders, team members and co-investors in the companies Acrew backs, setting the firm apart in an industry that’s become increasingly less collaborative.

 

Tailored Investment Approach

“We believe that our most important job is to invest in and support the best teams solving the biggest problems,” said Lauren Kolodny, founding partner with Acrew and early investor in Chime. “That’s why our model is tailored to supporting entrepreneurs and productively collaborating with other investors rather than setting strict ownership requirements and potentially missing out on the best opportunities.”

Several of the team’s prior investments (Chime, Exabeam and Cato) have demonstrated that what’s most important to driving the biggest outcomes and highest returns is backing the best teams, who are well suited to solving hard problems.  As such, Acrew has formulated a flexible investing strategy intended to meet the specific and potentially unique needs of individual founding teams. Acrew leads early stage rounds to productively collaborate with both high-value seed funds and multi-stage funds. Acrew also joins rounds to provide a seasoned additional investor presence and diversity of perspective to help entrepreneurs in their company-building journeys.  The result is that Acrew can tailor a round based on the founding team’s goals and the company’s needs.

“When we started working this team several years ago, they structured an investment to meet our needs at a critical time for our company.” said Chris Britt, CEO and co-founder of Chime. “Since the investment, they have worked as a team to support me, my co-founder and CTO, Ryan King, and our entire executive team.”

 

Built for the Decades to Come

“Acrew’s goal is to build an enduring venture platform for decades to come,” said Vishal Lugani, founding partner with Acrew. “In an industry where most new entrants are founded by age-peers, we believe the multi-generational make-up of our founding team lays the foundation for truly long term partnerships with founders and investors.”

The Acrew founding team consists of Theresia Gouw, Lauren Kolodny, Mark Kraynak, Vishal Lugani, and Asad Khaliq. They previously worked alongside each other at Aspect Ventures and together combine a range of investing, operational and non-profit experience from Accel, Brown University, Google, Greycroft, and Imperva. The Acrew team’s collective track record comprises more than $20B in market value created, 5 IPOs and over $1B in returns to investors.

“The Acrew team is committed to the critical principle that diverse teams drive the best outcomes, in the venture capital world and beyond,” said Melinda Gates of Pivotal Ventures. “That’s why we’re delighted to support Acrew as they launch their new fund.”

 

Conviction-led Investing

Acrew pursues a thesis-led approach to early-stage investing, developing conviction as a partnership, which enables each core investment Acrew makes to become a firm-wide investment. Core areas of focus and Acrew team investments include: 

“The Acrew team understood our vision from the start and took a hands-on role in helping us build Exabeam into a market leader,” said Nir Polak, CEO and co-founder of Exabeam, “Their deep experience in the security domain and valuable guidance helped with everything from our initial launch to raising several follow on rounds to helping us recruit our managment team.”

“We’ve had a strong collaboration with Theresia and her team, and we are excited to continue with our investment in Acrew,” said Rob Salvagno, Head of Corporate Development and Cisco Investments. “Acrew’s focus on cybersecurity, enterprise, and the power of diversity are closely aligned with our own objectives.”

“We believe that depth of conviction derived from diversity of perspective will drive the best outcomes, but getting to conviction with a diverse team requires work and trust.” said Mark Kraynak, founding partner with Acrew, “That’s why we strive to be the most authentic partners to one another and the teams in which we invest.”

About Acrew Capital

Acrew Capital is an early stage venture firm that engages in long term partnership with world-class teams uniquely suited to solving big, hard problems.  We believe the best investment decisions are driven by a combination of depth of conviction and diversity of perspective and that investment should be tailored to the specific needs of each founding team.  Acrew investment themes include Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Modernized, Financial Services Rebuilt, Work Reimagined, Data Interconnected and Community Activated.  The Acrew founding team previously worked together at Aspect Ventures and combines experience from Accel, Brown University, Google, Greycroft, and Imperva. Current Acrew team investments include Cato Networks, Chime, CipherTrace, Exabeam, Pie Insurance, PredictHQ, Silverfort, Tara.ai, and The RealReal. Collectively, the firm’s track record includes 5 IPOs, over 20 successful acquisitions and over 100 rounds of follow-on capital raises, resulting in over $20 billion in market value created and over $1B in returns to investors. For more information visit www.acrewcapital.com.