Kara Swisher

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Accel Partners Raises $1 Billion in "Unique Economic Times"

Bucking a trend of contraction in the venture capital industry, Accel Partners announced today that it had raised two funds totaling $1 billion.

The well-known VC firm said that it had closed the $480 million Accel Growth Fund and the $525 million Accel London III.

The first will be managed from its Palo Alto, Calif., HQ, focusing on “growth equity” across several sectors, while the London fund will be managed there and aim to invest in early-stage and growth companies across Europe and Israel.

Accel’s last fund raised, Accel X, was $500 million dollars, which the VC firm started investing in January. Accel currently has $6 billion under investment.

“We’re very pleased with the support of our long-time investors in these unique economic times,” said Accel Partner Jim Breyer in a statement.

In an interview with BoomTown last night, Breyer added, though, that raising the money was not as hard as he had thought it might be, given that VC firms have been struggling with their investors.

“It wasn’t difficult, simply because we are fortunate to have exceptional investors, who stepped up aggressively over the last month,” said Breyer, who noted that Accel’s international focus helped. “Despite the times, I think we are going into an exceptional investing environment, as long as we value based on a more reasonable but aggressive set of upside scenarios.”

Here’s the full Accel release on the new funds:

Accel Partners Closes Two New Funds

December 11, 2008–Palo Alto and London: Accel Partners, a leading global venture capital firm, today announced the closing of two new funds, Accel Growth Fund at $480 million and Accel London III at $525 million. “We’re very pleased with the support of our long-time investors in these unique economic times,” said Jim Breyer, Partner at Accel, and this milestone represents a continued validation of Accel’s strategy to back the leading technology and media companies globally, from inception through growth.”

Accel Growth Fund represents an important extension to the Accel Palo Alto team’s twenty-five year old venture capital practice. The fund will focus on growth equity opportunities across a broad range of sectors, including: information technology, internet, digital media, mobile, networking, software, and services. As with Accel’s early-stage efforts, Accel Growth Fund will play an active role in helping entrepreneurs and management teams build category-defining, global businesses.

“We are excited to expand Accel’s early-stage efforts to now include investments in attractive, growing businesses across all stages of the private company life cycle,” said Theresia Gouw Ranzetta, Partner at Accel.

The Accel Growth Fund will be managed by Andrew Braccia, Jim Breyer, Kevin Efrusy, Sameer Gandhi, Ping Li, Arthur Patterson, Theresia Gouw Ranzetta, Jim Swartz, Peter Wagner, and Rich Wong, the same partners from Accel’s most recent early-stage partnership, Accel X.

Accel London III will continue to invest in early stage and growth companies across Europe and Israel in Accel’s historical sectors of expertise, including information technology, internet, software, media, mobile, and communications.

“We are proud to have earned the support of our industry’s elite investors,” said Kevin Comolli, Partner at Accel London. “The successful raising of Accel London III is a tribute to the quality of our team and portfolio, the huge market opportunity in the region and the distinctiveness of Accel’s global approach.”

“Accel London is uniquely positioned as the only leading venture firm operating in Europe with a Silicon Valley heritage and a global footprint,” said Bruce Golden, Partner at Accel London. “Entrepreneurs who are truly focused on building defining, standalone public companies, are seeking investors with the expertise, global network of resources, patience and ambition to help them achieve their dream of creating the next market leader. Our mission is essentially to find and support this growing community of talented entrepreneurs in Europe and Israel.”

Accel London has experienced tremendous success working in the European and Israeli early stage and growth environment, where it has been able to offer world-class entrepreneurs a combination of Silicon Valley best practice experience, and intimate knowledge of local investment requirements in Europe and Israel. A few of Accel London’s current investments include Alfresco, Amobee, Check24, Gameforge, Kayak, Qliktech, Playfish, Super Derivatives, and Varonis.

Accel London is led by Partners Kevin Comolli, Sonali De Rycker, Bruce Golden, Harry Nelis, Simon Levene and Kaj-Erik Relander. The team offers a unique blend of experiences in investment, technology, and management.


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