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Accel Partners, the venture firm best known for backing Facebook, has closed two new funds: Accel Growth Fund at $480 million and Accel London III at $525 million. That’s more than $1 billion in all, an impressive number given the economic climate, not to mention growing talk that the venture capital model is broken.
The growth fund is significant because it’s an expansion of Accel’s core practice. Accel has broadened its scope through funds like its joint venture with KKR, but the Palo Alto, Calif. office remains focused on early-stage investments. With Accel Growth Fund, the firm can back startups further along in their lifecycles. Since the recent financial crash has worsened an already-bad market for public offerings and acquisitions, I’m guessing there will be plenty of companies (in and out of Accel’s portfolio) looking for another round.
Accel closed its $520 million tenth fund last year.
The growth fund will invest in information technology, internet, digital media, mobile, networking, software, and services startups. It will be managed by the same Silicon Valley team as the most recent early-stage fund: Andrew Braccia, Jim Breyer, Kevin Efrusy, Sameer Gandhi, Ping Li, Arthur Patterson, Theresia Gouw Ranzetta, Jim Swartz, Peter Wagner, and Rich Wong.
The London fund, meanwhile, will continue Accel’s early-stage and growth investments in Europe and Israel. Portfolio companies include Alfresco, Kayak, and Varonis.