Silicon Valley VC firm Accel has raised a new fund of $575 million to invest in early-stage startups across Europe and Israel, according to a report by Sifted.
“We’re one of the only early-stage venture platforms with a truly global network,” says Accel partner Philippe Botteri. The firm has an office in San Francisco, London and India, and portfolio companies and contacts across three continents. It has an early-stage fund, investing between $5-15m at Series A, in each of these geographies, all of roughly the same size, and a global growth fund for follow-on rounds. In practice, that network helps founders in a few key ways: with hiring senior leaders; with expanding to new markets; and with introductions to new customers.
“Overall, the level of ambition of entrepreneurs in Europe is really rising,” says Botteri. “Two things are really exciting in Europe right now,” he says. “Firstly, innovation can come from anywhere. If you look at 10-15 years back, it was mostly about the UK and Israel, and today really innovation can come from anywhere – UiPath was founded in Bucharest – so that makes the job super interesting. The next champion could come from Amsterdam, Sofia, Stockholm, wherever. We think there are about 10 to 15 hubs where we have to be present and active.”
“In France – and this is true of the rest of Europe as well – the pendulum has swung from the consumer side to more of the business-to-business side. France has shown it can generate strong software leaders […]. The second thing which is exciting in Europe is that companies keep growing faster and faster. That starts with the entrepreneur and their ambition, their willingness to take more risks, and go global very fast. It’s also because companies have access to capital faster, which helps.”
Botteri lists three areas of interest for the company: “(1) Anything around enterprise software, including cloud computing, security, AI and machine learning, and automation; (2) Consumer technology, in particular direct-to-consumer and healthcare; and (3) Fintech and online financial services.”