Today, I am thrilled to announce the launch of Acadian Ventures Fund I 🍾. Our inaugural fund was oversubscribed and we are excited to invest in founding teams that are creating the new “future of work.” We expect to invest upwards of $20M over the next few years in pre-seed and seed stage companies around the world disrupting the status quo.
When we began building Acadian Ventures in 2019, we were driven by a belief that work was changing in profound ways. The average tenure of a Gen-Z employee is now less than 3 years. We have a global skills shortage across the world where the number of available jobs continues to outpace the available talent. Rising healthcare costs combined with stress, burnout, and the obstacles for mental wellness was entering a “crisis” phase.
Little did we know when we authored our “operating manual” nearly two years ago that an imminent pandemic would create a forcing event that would accelerate our “future of work” thesis and become a “topic du jour” in boardrooms, at the dinner table, and on CNBC. In some cases, 10 years of change have shrunk in just 10 months and seemingly every company is now rewiring how work gets done.
We are now facing a new world of work. Our mission is to invest in companies that are transforming work and leveraging technology to make people’s working lives simpler, more gratifying and ultimately more productive. When you consider the notable pattern shifts above with a workforce in flux — the rise of creators and freelancers no longer tethered to single employer combined with massive technological changes to exploit data — and you have the ingredients rife for market disruption.
As a new VC firm, we strive to be unique. We are not your typical venture capital firm. For starters, we are based in Connecticut. Certainly not the mecca of venture and startup-land but it does allow us to think outside of the Silicon Valley eco-chamber and look globally for great companies. We really pride ourselves on our approach. In particular…
- 🥷 We are a hyper-specialized fund. We only invest in future of work companies. We believe seed-stage funds require deep domain expertise and a meaningful network fir which they are investing. As an ex-operator of one of the largest SaaS companies, we strive to leverage our knowledge and experience to help support our founders and portfolio companies.
- 🛠 We are a collective of operators and builders. A majority of our limited partners in the fund have built and operated some of the pioneering future of work SaaS companies including Zoom, Workday, SAP SuccessFactors, Cornerstone OnDemand, and Salesforce.com. We have tried to be very intentional in our partnership, bringing together CEOs, CTOs, CMOs and executive leaders with decades of experience building companies at scale.
- 👏 We are impact investors. We believe doing good has become a business imperative. We joined Pledge 1% and launched the Acadian Foundation before we even wrote our first check. We are excited when we meet entrepreneurs infusing social impact in their companies. We hope our efforts will create a lifetime of giving for a new generation of founders, entrepreneurs, and companies.
As we look to the future, we believe work will become increasingly distributed. This means talent will become universally available and accessible across the world. This also translates into a core tenet of our fund that great companies can be created anywhere in the world. This is supported by data. Nearly 50% of venture-backed “unicorns” building future of work companies are outside of Silicon Valley. Only 30% of publicly-traded future of work companies, as listed in our Future of Work Index, are based in Silicon Valley. Considering we have over $750B in enterprise value among publicly traded, Future of Work companies, and over 20 “unicorns” valued over $1B, the future of work is a massive, global opportunity!
Even though we are “launching” our fund today, we’ve been “writing checks” for over 18 months. We currently have 11 portfolio companies including Animo, Arist, Cauze, Clearedin, Mighty, Nomi Health, Oyster, Progression, SmartRecruiters, Utmost, and one yet announced investment. We have investments in the United States, Germany, Ireland, Canada, United Kingdom and soon expect to announce our first investment in Asia. We’ve been delighted and fortunate to co-invest with great co-investors including Craft Ventures, Emergence Capital, Greylock Partners, Insight Partners, The Slack Fund, Village Global, Workday Ventures, and Y Combinator.
A big shout out to our limited partners and advisors for supporting us on our journey and, of course, our portfolio founders who are doing the real work to build transformational companies. If you are building the future, please reach out, say 👋 and let us know how we can support you.