Four months after the news broke that veteran VCs Theresia Gouw and Jennifer Fonstad were going separate ways after forming their own venture company in 2014, Gouw says her brand-new company, Acrew Capital, has actually closed its debut fund with a remarkable $250 million in capital dedications.
The firm, with offices in both San Francisco and Palo Alto, was initially targeting between $175 million and $200 million, says Gouw, adding that a number of the financiers– including Melinda Gates– are the very same who participated in Element Ventures, the outfit that Gouw and Fonstad will ultimately unwind. (They’re presently investing in follow-on rounds in the start-ups that Element had actually backed with its 2 funds: a $150 million automobile, followed by a $200 million fund.)
Certainly, Acrew’s limited partners know the young company’s investing group. Gouw launched Acrew with Lauren Kolodny, Mark Kraynak, Vishal Lugani and Asad Khaliq, all of whom worked formerly at Element and all of whom are partners, other than for Khaliq, who joined Element in 2016 and remains a principal for now. On a call earlier this week, Gouw emphasized the collective nature of Acrew, worrying that she sees her team as co-founders, and sharing that any two partners can push a deal through, while it takes simply one partner to nix something.
” Group is at the center of everything we do,” said Gouw, who has been named to the Forbes Midas List eight times in her investing career, much of it spent with Accel Partners. “VC is best practiced as team sport, and every win is going to be a group win.”
If you wonder, not everybody is on equal monetary footing right now, but Gouw suggests that Acrew’s founding team has more openness than do numerous other partnerships into how the economics breaks down– and that the goal is for everybody to get the exact same share of returns gradually, and most likely earlier than later on. She stated the firm introduced really deliberately with a “multigenerational founding group”– which is rare in the endeavor business– not even if of the “service benefits it [confers] now” however also because it “positions us well through lots of funds and numerous cycles.”
Up until now, Acrew has actually made 6 financial investments, including in the digital bank Chime, which just last week closed on $500 million in fresh financing at a $ 5.8 billion appraisal The startup, which was valued at $1.5 billion as of March, is likewise a portfolio business of Element Ventures. (Gouw credits Kolodny with leading the company’s Series A round.)
Other Acrew financial investments include Klar, a challenger bank similar to Chime in Mexico City that closed on $575 million in debt and equity financing in September, and Augtera Networks, a startup that helps large business automate their network operations and which announced $ 4 million in moneying simply last week, led by Bain Capital Ventures.
Normally, says Gouw, the company will be wanting to buy half a dozen locations, consisting of cybersecurity, where Gouw is widely considered specialist; monetary services; the future of work; and interconnected information.
As an example of the latter, Gouw indicate PredictHQ, a New Zealand-based start-up whose Series A round was led by Element in 2015; it helps companies like ride-share attires much better forecast when there’s likely to be a spike in demand for their services.
In regards to the checks Acrew will be composing, Gouw says that Acrew will participate in seed rounds, investing as little as $1 million or less. It will also lead Series A rounds, writing initial checks of between $4 million and $7 million, as needed. It needn’t constantly be the lead investor in a round, nevertheless. “If since of the size of their fund, another company needs to write an $8 million check, we can compose a check for $1 million to $2 million” to complete the round.
As for what happened at Element, Fonstad– who is independently raising a debut fund for her own new firm, Owl Capital– informed the WSJ back in September that she and Gouw “saw quite eye to eye in terms of our investments and technique. However we had extremely various leadership designs and various methods of operating at the portfolio level.”
Asked at a recent TechCrunch Disrupt event what Fonstad suggested, Gouw declined to flesh out their differences, stating she would speak rather to how she operates. “I have 4 co-founders in Acrew Capital, so there’s five of us, and we operate as a team, and we all have equivalent state in investment decisions, which’s my management design.”
You can check out more of that conversation below.