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Venture capital firm Accel has announced a fresh $500 million as it looks target what it calls an “unprecedented opportunity” to back “the next generation of entrepreneurs” in Europe and Israel.
Founded out of Palo Alto, California, in 1983, Accel has since launched offices in New York, Bangalore, and London — the company’s U.K. hub opened in 2000, in the middle of the first dotcom boom. Its latest fund, Accel London V, comes on the heels of a number of other high-profile fund launches in the region. In February, Index Ventures closed a $550 million fund for U.S., Europe, and Israel, shortly after a Chinese investment firm launched a $715 million fund to help European startups grow in China. And late last year, European VC firm Lakestar announced $400 million for local and U.S. startups.
Accel has invested in startups in a total of 19 countries to date — companies that cover cloud computing, enterprise, security software, consumer, and more. Indeed, Accel has some big-name brands in its portfolio, including Facebook, Dropbox, Spotify, WorldRemit, BlaBlaCar, and Flipkart.
Accel says that the total value of its funds currently managed in Europe and Israel is now at $2.5 billion. Last year saw some notable outcomes for its investments: SoftBank upped its stake in Finland’s Clash of Clan-makers Supercell, while Russia’s online classifieds giant Avito was taken over by Naspers. Accel’s London arm claims it generated “$15 billion in exit market value” in 2015 alone.
Though Accel has funded companies at various stages, its latest $500 million pot will be focused on early- and growth-stage investments, and will look at working with software-as-a-service (Saas) startups, marketplaces, and “next generation infrastructure.”
“Entrepreneurship is flourishing everywhere across Europe and Israel; we’ve never seen so many great founders, both gritty and ambitious, come out of the region, and are excited to help them build the next generation of truly great, enduring businesses,” said Harry Nelis, partner at Accel London.
Today’s news comes less than a month after Accel launched two U.S. funds — $500 million for early-stage companies and $1.5 billion for later-stage firms.
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