Acrew Capital Sets Up Massive $250 Million Early-Stage Fund

By Amit Chowdhry ● December 22, 2019
  • Early-stage venture firm Acrew Capital announced it has set up a massive $250 million early-stage fund

Acrew Capital, an early-stage venture firm that sets up long-term partnerships with world-class teams suited for solving hard problems, announced it has closed $250 million for an early-stage fund. This is well above the original target range of $175 million to $200 million.

And Acrew’s investment themes include cybersecurity, infrastructure, financial services, etc. And Acrew’s founding team — which consists of Theresia Gouw, Lauren Kolodny, Mark Kraynak, Vishal Lugani, and Asad Khaliq — previously worked together at Aspect Ventures and they also have experience at Accel, Brown University, Google, Greycroft, and Imperva.

Some of Acrew’s portfolio companies include Cato Networks, Chime, CipherTrace, Exabeam, Pie Insurance, PredictHQ, Silverfort, Tara.ai, and The RealReal. So far, Acrew has seen 5 IPOs, 20 acquisitions, and over 100 rounds of follow-on capital results — which resulted in over $20 billion in market value created and more than $1 billion in returns to investors.

“We believe that successful companies are built by teams working together toward a common goal. Venture investing should be no different,“ said Acrew founding partner Theresia Gouw. “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 name Acrew Capital reflects the view that both early-stage investing and company-building are best done by high functioning teams that constantly evolve.

“We believe that our most important job is to invest in and support the best teams solving the biggest problems,” added Acrew Capital founding partner Lauren Kolodny and early Chime investor. “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.”

Acrew has built a flexible investment strategy intended to meet the specific and potentially unique needs of individual founding teams. And Acrew leads early-stage rounds to productively collaborate with both high-value seed funds and multi-stage funds.

Plus Acrew also joins rounds to provide a seasoned additional investor presence and diversity of perspective to help entrepreneurs in their company-building journeys. And 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,” explained Chime co-founder and CEO Chris Britt. “Since the investment, they have worked as a team to support me, my co-founder and CTO, Ryan King, and our entire executive team.”

“Acrew’s goal is to build an enduring venture platform for decades to come,” stated Acrew Capital founding partner Vishal Lugani. “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.”

One of Acrew’s biggest backers is Melinda Gates. Gates is the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and founded Pivotal Ventures.

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

Exabeam CEO and co-founder acknowledged that the Acrew team understood the company’s vision from the start and took a hands-on role helping to build it into a market leader. Acrew helped Exabeam with the initial launch, raising several follow-on rounds, and recruit the management team.

Cisco Systems head of corporate development and Cisco Investments Rob Salvagno noted that they had a strong collaboration with Theresia and her team. And they are excited to continue with its investment in Acrew. Acrew’s focus on cybersecurity, enterprise, and diversity are closely aligned with the objectives of Cisco.

“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,” noted Acrew Capital founding partner Mark Kraynak. “That’s why we strive to be the most authentic partners to one another and the teams in which we invest.”