Venture capital firm Accel raised $2.53 billion to fund technology startups, adding to evidence of a surge in demand for risky but high-potential private investments. The capital is divvied up between three Accel funds, all larger than their predecessors, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The new funds cap a series of recent victories for Accel. The 35-year-old Silicon Valley firm saw several of the companies it had backed from their early days get acquired for rich prices or list on public markets over the past year. They include Dropbox, the file-sharing company that popped last year when it went public; Flipkart Group, the Indian online shopping giant that sold a majority stake to Walmart for $16 billion in May; and Qualtrics, which SAP SE agreed to buy for $8 billion in November. Slack, another Accel investment, is expected to list its stock this year.
Silicon Valley is in a frenzy, with venture capitalists sitting on the most capital since the dot-com boom. The Bloomberg U.S. Startups Barometer, an index that tracks deal activity to measure the health of the market, has climbed higher every week of the year so far and has more than doubled from a year ago.
Here’s how the new Accel funds break down, according to the person familiar with the matter, who wasn’t authorized to discuss the details publicly: The flagship Accel XIV fund totals $525 million, up from $500 million in 2016. Accel also raised a growth fund of $1.5 billion, up from $1.2 billion, and a $500 million Leaders Fund to add more cash to select growth investments, up from $300 million. The new funds were reported earlier Thursday by TechCrunch.