What should I know about Acadian?

Acadian Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm that specializes in work technologies.  We invest in pre-seed, seed and post-seed (Series A) companies around the world and have currently invested in companies located across 13 countries.

We sometimes write the first institutional check even before a single line of code has been written.  In those cases, we place heavy emphasis on founding teams that have previous experience building companies.  Often, we will participate in the company's first seed round where a company can start to see early indications of product-market fit.

Our typical seed check size ranges from $500K to $1M.  We strongly prefer to co-invest with other venture capital firms that can complement our thesis-driven approach.  We historically do not lead rounds and prefer to “fast follow”. 

We intend to make 10-12 investments per year and reserve approximately 30% of our fund’s capital to follow-on, typically leveraging our pro-rata rights.  Our follow-on investment is desired but not guaranteed.

What is our investment process?

Our investment process typically involves the following steps…

Our investment timeline varies. We prefer to get to know founders long-before a fundraising process. Our typical investment decision happens within 3-4 weeks but can move faster if necessary.

What do we look for?

Our best investments (those that have returned the most capital to our investors) have a few common attributes.

  • An experienced, complementary founding team that can attract world-class talent
  • Solving a massive problem where multiple billion dollar companies can emerge
  • Methodically focused on building fast and obsess over results and actions

We like founders who have a “chip on their shoulder” with an intimate knowledge of the problem they are solving (and also understand why others have been unable to solve it in the past.)  As long-term investors, we look for founders that desire to make the company their life’s work and are self-aware of the enduring challenges and difficulties required to build generational companies. 

How do we help our companies?

We think of investing as a team sport.  When we make an investment, we invest as a firm not individuals.  As ex-operators, we have a collective set of experience that we believe can be hugely valuable to our founders.  We try to help founders avoid mistakes that we made ourselves in the past.

We are thankful to have an amazing group of limited partners (i.e. investors in our fund) with experience as executives in the “Worktech” space.  That includes former CEOs, CTOs, CROs, and CMOs from companies including Workday, Zoom, SAP SuccessFactors, ADP, and Oracle.  Our LPs are always willing to help and many of them are active advisors to our portfolio companies.  We are always available and have embedded into our ethos the belief that we must always be in service of our founders.  We are always happy to share our experiences, knowledge, and opinions but expect the company to be the ultimate decision maker.  

Often we will join the company’s board.  We do so when we believe that we can offer something unique to the direction of the company.  We like board observer participation and expect to roll-off at the next round or whenever the founders desire.

What do we ask from our companies?

Our best founders reach out to us frequently.  It could be a piece of advice, an introduction, or feedback on an upcoming decision.  We love founders that are open and transparent.  We want to know what is going right but also what’s not working well.  

We appreciate getting monthly updates.  Please send them!  We will often respond with thoughts and feedback.  We also love customer news.  You can send them as a group text to investors or, even better, a structured customer win announcement. 

How can we get in touch with Acadian?

You can always find us on “the socials” – mostly Linkedin and to a lesser extent X. We look at all emails and pitches that are sent to us and those can always be sent to hello@acadianventures.com. Truth be told, though, we like warm referrals. In fact, our data would suggest the best source of our investments are through referrals – founders, VCs, networks, etc. The right referrals often allow us to garner conviction quicker and fast-track the process.

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