4 months after the information broke that veteran VCs Theresia Gouw and Jennifer Fonstad have been going separate methods after forming their very own enterprise agency in 2014, Gouw says her new agency, Acrew Capital, has closed its debut fund with a formidable $250 million in capital commitments.
The agency, with workplaces in each San Francisco and Palo Alto, was initially concentrating on between $175 million and $200 million, says Gouw, including that lots of the traders — together with Melinda Gates — are the identical who participated in Side Ventures, the outfit that Gouw and Fonstad will ultimately wind down. (They’re at present investing in follow-on rounds within the startups that Side had backed with its two funds: a $150 million car, adopted by a $200 million fund.)
Actually, Acrew’s restricted companions know the younger agency’s investing workforce. Gouw launched Acrew with Lauren Kolodny, Mark Kraynak, Vishal Lugani and Asad Khaliq, all of whom labored beforehand at Side and all of whom are companions, aside from Khaliq, who joined Side in 2016 and stays a principal for now. Certainly, on a name earlier this week, Gouw emphasised the collaborative nature of Acrew, stressing that she sees her workforce as co-founders, and sharing that any two companions can push a deal by, whereas it takes only one associate to nix one thing.
“Team is at the center of everything we do,” stated Gouw, who has been named to the Forbes Midas Listing eight instances in her investing profession, a lot of it spent with Accel Companions. “VC is best practiced as as team sport, and every win is going to be a team win.”
In case you’re curious, not everyone seems to be on equal monetary footing simply but, however Gouw means that Acrew’s founding workforce has extra transparency than do many different partnerships into how the economics breaks down — and that the purpose is for everybody to obtain the identical share of returns over time, and sure before later. She stated the agency launched very deliberately with a “multigenerational founding team” — which is uncommon within the enterprise enterprise — not simply due to the “business advantages it [confers] now” but in addition as a result of it “positions us well through many funds and many cycles.”
Up to now, Acrew has made six investments, together with within the digital financial institution Chime, which simply final week closed on $500 million in contemporary funding at a $5.eight billion valuation. The startup, which was valued at $1.5 billion as of March, can also be a portfolio firm of Side Ventures. (Gouw credit Kolodny with main the corporate’s Collection A spherical.)
Different Acrew investments embrace Klar, a challenger financial institution akin to Chime in Mexico Metropolis that closed on $57.5 million in debt and fairness funding in September, and Augtera Networks, a startup that helps massive enterprises automate their community operations and which introduced $four million in funding simply final week, led by Bain Capital Ventures.
Usually, says Gouw, the agency might be trying to spend money on half a dozen areas, together with cybersecurity, the place Gouw is extensively thought of professional; monetary companies; the way forward for work; and interconnected information.
For instance of the latter, Gouw factors to PredictHQ, a New Zealand-based startup whose Collection A spherical was led by Side final yr; it helps firms like ride-share outfits higher predict when there’s more likely to be a spike in demand for his or her companies.
By way of the checks Acrew might be writing, Gouw says that Acrew will take part in seed rounds, investing as little as $1 million or much less. It should additionally lead Collection A rounds, writing preliminary checks of between $four million and $7 million, as wanted. It needn’t at all times be the lead investor in a spherical, nonetheless. “If because of the size of their fund, another firm needs to write an $8 million check, we can write a check for $1 million to $2 million” to fill out the spherical.
As for what occurred at Side, Fonstad — who’s individually elevating a debut fund for her personal new agency, Owl Capital — advised the WSJ again in September that she and Gouw “saw very much eye to eye in terms of our investments and strategy. But we had very different leadership styles and different ways of operating at the portfolio level.”
Requested at a current TechCrunch Disrupt occasion what Fonstad meant, Gouw declined to flesh out their variations, saying she would communicate as a substitute to how she operates. “I have four co-founders in Acrew Capital, so there’s five of us, and we operate as a team, and we all have equal say in investment decisions, and that’s my management style.”
You possibly can take a look at extra of that dialog beneath.