ACME Capital, an early-stage venture firm that’s run by industry insiders Scott Stanford and Hany Nada, has just closed two funds totaling $300 million in capital commitments, including a $240 million early-stage fund and a $60 million vehicle for later-stage bets.
The money is significant given that the outfit’s last fund closed with $181 million in commitments in 2019 — not that ACME has been lacking money to plug into startups. On the contrary, Stanford and Nada say they also invested $155 million in “three or four” startups last year through special purpose vehicles (SPVs) — akin to pop-up venture funds with a specific investing target in sight — and that they have invested $1 billion over the years in companies using SPVs.
Asked which companies received this capital, the two declined to specify, saying only that the recipients are within their portfolio.
That the two came together owes to some serendipity. They say they met roughly 16 years ago when Stanford worked in investment banking at Goldman Sachs and Nada was a managing partner with the cross-border firm GGV Capital, which he co-founded in 2000. Nada was on the board of Glu Mobile, a mobile gaming company that more recently sold to Electronic Arts; Stanford was trying to understand Glu to help Goldman with its broader approach to internet businesses in a post-dot-com world.
ACME, notably being super progressive in their investments, and even staff, have pledged to continue investing in non-male, non-white, and LBTQ businesses (60% of their investments so far have fallen in these categories). Here we were thinking that their fiduciary obligation was to make their investors money.