Akkadian Ventures Adds Secondary Industry Pioneer to Investment Team

Mike Gridley joins as Managing Director

San Francisco, Calif. October 10,2013 – Akkadian Ventures today announced that Mike Gridley is joining the firm as a Managing Director. Gridley will be Akkadian’s second investing partner and a member of the Investment Committee with co-founder Ben Black.

Mike Gridley is an investing pioneer in the venture capital secondary markets. Gridley was on the founding team of Industry Ventures, where he served as a Managing Director since 2004. Gridley led Industry’s investments in Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, LifeLock, Jajah (Acquired by Telefonica), Cloudmark, Lowercase Capital (Twitter, Uber, Instagram), Walden Venture Capital (Pandora, Glam, SoundHound) and Madrona Ventures (Isilon), among others. He also helped grow Industry Ventures from less than $10 million AUM to over $1 billion AUM. Gridley is a proven technology investor and has deep experience working with companies and entrepreneurs to solve liquidity problems.

“Mike was a great partner and valuable advisor. He brought LifeLock critical additional expertise in helping manage shareholder liquidity and raising capital,” said Todd Davis, Founder and CEO of LifeLock.

Akkadian Founder Benjamin Black explained, “Mike started doing direct secondaries when there were only a handful of firms dedicated exclusively to venture capital secondaries. Now the secondary market is a multi-billion dollar asset class on its own. As a result, Mike is the ideal person to partner with to take Akkadian Ventures to its next level. He brings almost a decade of secondary investment success and has the very rare experience of building an institutional investment firm from the ground up. He will greatly accelerate our development as a firm. We share the same philosophy that small, focused funds, small transactions and flexible structures present the best strategy for producing outsized returns in the direct secondary markets.”

“I am thrilled to be joining Ben at Akkadian,” said Gridley. “I have watched Ben build a very successful firm over the last few years, and I am excited to be a part of the next chapter at Akkadian. As the venture secondary market has matured, Akkadian has been at the forefront of the market with innovative liquidity solutions for companies, employees and investors. Ben understands the unique needs of companies and shareholders required to produce win-win outcomes. I look forward to continuing Akkadian’s investment success and building on its strong reputation among the investor and entrepreneurial community.”

Akkadian focuses exclusively on solving the liquidity issues faced by entrepreneurs, early employees and investors. Knowing that it takes an average of nine years for entrepreneurs to achieve liquidity, Akkadian has created a number of unique ways for entrepreneurs and employees to generate liquidity and diversify their risk by monetizing a portion of their private stock. With a focus on acquiring small stakes in successful, growing companies, Akkadian Ventures helps innovators manage risk and reap financial reward during that long climb to the top. Since 2011, the company has worked closely with the management teams of seventeen companies to implement solutions that appeal to all stakeholders.

About Akkadian Ventures
Akkadian Ventures is a direct secondary investment firm focused on providing liquidity to early employees and investors of venture-backed businesses. Akkadian offers tailored and unique solutions for companies and employees, with key benefits that include speed, tax efficiency and rigorous respect for confidentiality. Akkadian has also developed a proprietary, data-driven methodology to identify which private technology companies are entering hyper-growth and uses this data to “pre-approve” companies for its liquidity programs, dramatically accelerating the time to transaction for entrepreneurs. Founded in 2010, Akkadian is based in San Francisco, Calif. For more information, please visit http://www.akkadianventures.com.


Donna Burke, Sparkpr

About Ben Black

Benjamin Black is the Co-founder and Managing Director of Akkadian Ventures, LLC. An eleven-year veteran of the private equity space, Ben co-founded Akkadian with Peter Smith, to specialize in offering early liquidity to entrepreneurs, early employees, and investors in successful private companies.

One Response to “Akkadian Ventures Adds Secondary Industry Pioneer to Investment Team”

  1. pollster1041 gordon black Reply October 11, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    This is an excellent explanation for what you are doing< including the fact you told me that his presence will permit you to tap into more institutional investors, who are uncomfortable with having a single partner and want more redundancy. Good luck and I will look forward to meeting him as one of your original investors. Keep up the good choices.

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