Interview with Richard Wolpert, Acrew Capital

Our interview this morning is with Richard Wolpert, a longtime Los Angeles venture and angel investor. Wolpert has been at Accel Partners as a Venture Partner, in addition to being involved with such efforts as Amplify LA, his own startup, HelloTech, and hundreds of angel deals. We spoke to him about his move to Acrew Capital (, and got some of his thoughts on how best to get a funding deal done. Tell us about how you ended up joining this new fund? Richard Wolpert: I joined Accel at the end of 2006. When I joined, there were, not including the founders, two of the elder statemen of the fund, and probably only six to seven Partners. I was working closely with Theresia Gouw, Jim Breyer, Kevin Efrusy, and Andrew Braccia, plus Rich Wong and Ping Li. I felt I really was involved in the fund, and went to partner meetings, brought them Vox Media, brought Kongregate to them, which eventually sold to GameStop, and brought them John Hering from Lookout, when it was known as Flexilis. Lookout is now a long run, but it’s doing great. Accel has grown so much since I joined, I think they probably have 25 investment partners now. They have been great for me, but there’s not the same level of participation and engagement now that they’re so large. Theresa Gouw, one of the three founders of Acrew, worked closely with me from 2006 to 2013, when she left. Acrew is, age-wise, a younger fund than Accel was when I joined in 2006, and a lot smaller in terms of number of partners, roughly at the same size that Accel was when I joined. I left Accel on very good terms and let them know I was leaving at the end of last year, and stayed involved until July of this year. I got involved with Acrew last month, with August first as my official start date, and I’m on the partner calls already and contributing. What are you looking for, as an investor?