Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Accel Partners Feels Like a Billion Dollars Today…No, Really!


Who said the venture capital industry is sucking wind lately?

Well, it is–but not today, and especially, not Accel Partners, which sold two of its portfolio start-ups to large public companies for a total of $1.5 billion.

That would be the sale of AdMob to search behemoth Google (GOOG) for $750 million in stock and the acquisition of Playfish by gaming giant Electronic Arts (ERTS) for about $300 million (plus an earn-out of up to $100 million for Playfish staff).

While Accel shared the AdMob largess with Sequoia Capital and others with a stake in AdMob, which focuses on mobile advertising, and shared its social-gaming winnings from Playfish with Index Ventures, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based VC firm can surely afford to choose the pricier bottle of wine this week.

(Also, apropos of nothing, Accel Partner and Facebook board member Jim Breyer is now officially paying for the lunch he still owes me!)

Playfish had raised a total of $21 million in funding, while AdMob had pulled in about $47 million.

“I think you can imagine we are very pleased,” said Rich Wong, the Accel partner involved with AdMob, in an interview this morning. But he would not give any specifics about what Accel hauled in for its portion of the two companies.

Still, Wong said the venture market in Silicon Valley and elsewhere was definitely “stabilizing,” noting that there has been an increasing number of exits for investors via big companies scooping up strong start-ups.

“AdMob and Playfish are strong players in their respective spaces and in leading categories,” said Wong. “Their sale is a sign that this kind of innovation is important to major companies.”

And, apparently, to Accel.

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— David Pogue on why he’s joining Yahoo