Long-time Los Angeles-based investor and entrepreneur Richard Wolpert has joined Acrew Capital as a venture partner.
Wolpert, who began working with the early-stage firm in August, tells Venture Capital Journal that he will source deals and advise on investment decisions. He said he has already brought the firm one potential investment deal that it is working to close on.
At Acrew, Wolpert rejoins founding partner Theresia Gouw, with whom he worked at Accel before she left that firm to form Aspect Ventures in 2014. Gouw, along with fellow founding partners Lauren Kolodny and Vishal Lugani, formed Acrew in 2019. Among the firm’s investments is Chime, which is rumored to be an IPO candidate.
Wolpert spent the previous 16 years at Accel, where he said he was recruited by Jim Breyer to be a venture partner. “Honestly, at the time, didn’t know what the term meant, but he explained it and that’s how I got started,” Wolpert said.
At Accel, Wolpert originated investments in Vox Media, Lookout Mobile and Kongregate, among others. His investing experience includes Chance Technologies, an angel investment fund that has backed more than 50 companies. Wolpert also is an adviser to Los Angeles-based accelerator Amplify.LA.
On the operating side, Wolpert is a past founder, having run such start-ups as the home and business tech support provider HelloTech. He was also the founder and chief executive of software publisher After Hours, which Adobe purchased in 1993.
Wolpert began his career at Apple in 1985 on the original Macintosh software team. He served as president of Disney Online, chief strategy officer of RealNetworks, and authored the book The Soul Of A Deal.
Acrew is known for having a diverse staff including women and people of color, and for its investments in diverse entrepreneurs. This year, the firm launched its Diversify Capital Fund to invest in companies that increase representation of women and people of color in their ownership structure and help diversify their boards and executive teams.
“They’re speaking the speak,” Wolpert said of Acrew. “Words are cheap, but actions matter. And Acrew was formed as a diverse fund before that term became in vogue like it is today. As a privileged white male I can say I’m impressed with what Acrew is doing and Theresia’s background speaks for itself.”