Accel, formerly known as Accel Partners, is an American venture capital firm. Accel works with startups in seed, early and growth-stage investments. The company has offices in Palo Alto, California and San Francisco, California, with additional operating funds in London, India and China (through a partnership with International Data Group (IDG-Accel)).
Accel has funded technology companies including Facebook, Slack, Dropbox, Atlassian, Flipkart, Supercell, Spotify, Etsy, Braintree/Venmo, Vox Media, Lynda.com, Qualtrics, DJI, Cloudera, Jet.com and GoFundMe.
In 1983, Accel was founded by Arthur Patterson and Jim Swartz. The co-founders developed the firm's "Prepared Mind" investment philosophy based on the Louis Pasteur quote "Chance favors the prepared mind.", which requires "deep focus" and a disciplined and informed approach to investing.
In 2001, Accel opened its London office as a separate fund, to invest in European technology companies, focusing on Series A and Series B investments. Its European investments include Avito (acquired by Naspers for $1.2 billion), BlaBlaCar, Deliveroo, Spotify and Supercell (acquired by Tencent for $8.6 billion), among others.
In addition to Accel's continued investments in early-stage startups from the Accel early stage fund, the firm announced a $480 million growth fund in December 2008, focused on growth equity opportunities in information technology, the internet, digital media, mobile, networking, software, and services.
In March 2016, Accel raised $2 billion, $500 million for an early stage venture fund and $1.5 billion for growth investments. In April 2016, Accel raised a separate $500 million fund for investments in Europe and Israel. In November 2016, Accel's India arm closed its fifth fund with $450 million, about two years after closing its fourth fund with $325 million.
Accel works with seed, early and growth-stage investments. Its seed and early stage investments include Cloudera, Dropbox, Dropcam, Facebook, Flipkart, Jet.com and Slack. The firm’s growth capital investments focus on more developed companies that require a larger amount of capital to expand their business. Examples include Atlassian, DJI and Qualtrics.
Recent exits include:
- Arista Networks: IPO valuation of $2.7 billion in 2014
- Atlassian: IPO valuation of $4.4 billion in 2015
- Avito: acquired by Naspers for $1.2 billion in 2015
- Braintree: acquired by Paypal for $800 million in 2013
- Cloudera: IPO valuation of $2.3 billion in 2017
- Etsy: IPO valuation of $1.78 billion in 2015
- Facebook: IPO valuation of $104 billion in 2012
- ForeScout: IPO valuation of $935+ million in 2017
- Fusion-io: acquired by Sandisk for $1.1 billion in 2014
- IronPlanet: acquired by Ritchie Bros. for approximately $758.5 million in 2017
- Jet: acquired by Walmart for $3.3 billion in 2016
- Krux: acquired by Salesforce for $700 million in 2016
- Lynda.com: acquired by LinkedIn at a $1.5 billion valuation in 2015
- Legendary Pictures: acquired by Wanda Group for $3.5 billion in 2016
- Supercell: acquired by Softbank for $5.5 billion in 2015 and acquired by Tencent for $8.6 billion in 2016
- Trulia: IPO valuation of $448 million and acquired by Zillow for $3.5 billion in 2014
Accel's US fund is headquartered in Palo Alto, California, with offices in San Francisco, California.Accel's European fund is headquartered in London, England and Accel's India fund is headquartered in Bangalore, India. In addition to the U.S., Accel has investments across in France, Germany, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, China, Finland, India, Switzerland and more.