Everyday 3.4 billion workers show up for a job. Most of those workers are unhappy, underpaid, and underappreciated. According to Stanford Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer,” …the workplace profoundly affects human health and morbidity, and too many workplaces are harmful to people’s health – people are literally dying for a paycheck.” Even a slight increase in morale, productivity, and innovation can have a profound impact on society’s wellness and prosperity.
We invest where technology and work mingle. The machine has shaped society since the Industrial Revolution. Moreso, the impact of the computer on work, on organizations, their culture, on managerial methods, on scarcity or abundance, on reward, on personal growth, on fairness, is bigger than that of the production line. The nature of work is changing before our eyes.
Over 70 years ago, the computer’s first business application – payroll - went live. Today, we estimate that $82 trillion annually flows through payroll platforms around the world. Technology today can help make workers dramatically more productive, more creative and more innovative. Yet, most companies underinvest in technology to make their workforce more efficient and effective. Organizations, on average, spend approximately $2,500 per year on technology to support their workforce.
Acadian Ventures is a global venture capital firm that invests in the next generation of work technologies. Our thesis is to invest in companies transforming work by leveraging technology to make people's working lives simpler, more gratifying, and ultimately more productive. In achieving our mission, we can create a flywheel where workers achieve financial independence and companies can become wildly profitable. It’s a win-win!
We believe that…
- Shifts in technology (think AI) will create opportunities for new ways to manage work, creating new market categories, and disrupting incumbents.
- How we work, where we work, and when we work is changing rapidly and companies are now required to rapidly adapt to a changing (and increasingly uncertain) future.
- Work will continue to be complex, demanding regulatory changes, directly or indirectly related to employment, driving demand for improved technology solutions.
- Work is increasingly global, increasingly diverse, and those companies that tap into a global workforce will be the most innovative, the most efficient, and the most profitable.
Innovation is equally spread but unequally funded. The most visionary entrepreneurs have a deeply held ambition, drive, and motivation to create massive impact economically and socially. Done right, technology can solve some of the biggest challenges in work. Over the past 5 years, we have invested in nearly a hundred entrepreneurs across 13 countries, providing them with capital, advice, and support. Our strategy is to find the best companies anywhere in the world with the ambition to build companies of impact.
To understand the future of a market, it's critical to have perspective, knowledge and experience of the past. Today, entrepreneurs require investors that don’t just provide capital but can offer something unique that will accelerate their business. Our mission is simple: to be the most meaningful partner to our founders. Our conviction, operating experience and investing track record will enable us to be the leading investor in the companies that will shape how work is done.