Venture firm Accel raises US$575m fund for Europe startups

[LONDON] Accel, a venture capital firm with offices in Silicon Valley, London and Bangalore, has raised a new $575 million fund aimed at early-stage companies in Europe and Israel.

The fund, which is Accel's sixth since the firm opened a London office in 2000, will primarily back early-stage companies, Philippe Botteri, an Accel partner, said in an interview ahead of the announcement. Mr Botteri said each portfolio company invested in from the new fund would receive US$5 million to US$15 million, with money reserved for follow-on investments.

Accel, which has recently backed companies such as food delivery startup Deliveroo and robotic process automation software firm UiPath, now manages about US$3 billion in total funds in Europe, the company said in a statement.

Mr Botteri declined to name any of the latest fund's investors, but said they include a mix of foundations, university endowments and fund of funds in both the US and Europe, with a greater number coming from the US.

"There is a strong recognition right now from global investors that Europe can create very significant leaders in technology," he said.

Investors have been continuing to raise capital to invest in European startups. The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System said in March that it's setting up a 300 million euro (S$460.3 million) venture capital fund to invest in early-stage European tech companies.

Venture fundraising in the region reached 11.4 billion euros in 2018, the highest level recorded to date, according to data from Invest Europe.

Accel raised the latest fund in less than three months. It's previous fund, a US$500 million investment vehicle, was raised in April 2016. Mr Botteri added that Brexit had so far had no impact on how Accel views British startups and their ability to create promising businesses.

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