Accel Partners, the global venture capital firm, has announced the launch of its Big Data Fund, a new $100m investment initiative created to identify innovative entrepreneurs seeking to build category-defining companies at every layer of the Big Data stack. Accel’s Big Data Fund aims to fund transformative companies throughout the Big Data ecosystem, from next generation storage and data management platforms to a wide range of revolutionary software applications and services, including data analytics, vertical applications, mobile, and many more. Accel Partners will manage its Big Data Fund across global offices in U.S., London, China and India.
“Big Data consistently drives innovation across our existing portfolio companies today and with the Big Data Fund we are empowering a new set of entrepreneurs to be able to catch this wave. As Big Data platforms such as Hadoop and others continue to gain rapid adoption and become more mainstream, we are seeing an exciting wave of next generation business applications emerge. These new applications – whether they address business intelligence or mobile or collaboration – will harness Big Data to deliver unique value and business insight to enterprises and end users. Big Data is the future of IT and we believe Big Data will drive the next-generation of multi-billion dollar software companies,” said Ping Li of Accel Partners. “Vendors that effectively pave the way for Big Data to be leveraged for ever-evolving business use cases, such as Cloudera – the leader in Apache Hadoop-based software and services and an Accel-backed company – will determine the winners in this next wave of cloud computing.”
Enterprises and IT departments are dealing with unprecedented volume, variety and velocity of data and are looking for new ways to efficiently store, manage and extract value for their businesses. Newly proliferating unstructured and semi-structured data types are reshaping traditional data platforms and technologies, leading to a radical shift in the relational database era and the applications born from it. Accel’s Big Data Fund will bring the most innovative and thoughtful entrepreneurs into this hot ecosystem of companies helping to address the opportunities around Big Data with new technologies and through collaboration with other industry leaders like Cloudera.
“Next generation Big Data technology innovation will be pervasive and cut across all layers of the Big Data ‘stack’ – from hardware components like SSDs, to data organization and management solutions like Hadoop and NoSQL, to applications including analytics, business intelligence and collaboration,” said Benjamin S. Woo, program vice president, storage systems and lead analyst, Big Data, at IDC. “Big Data is creating a lasting revolution in data centers across all vertical markets, paving the way for a new set of applications to be built on new Big Data platforms rather than legacy relational databases.”
To effectively support Big Data entrepreneurs and foster community, the Big Data Fund is partnering with thought leaders throughout the industry to help drive innovation, including data scientists, software entrepreneurs/technologists and academic researchers. Along these lines, Accel Partners is organizing a Big Data Conference in Silicon Valley to occur in Spring 2012. This will be a full-day conference on the latest Big Data technology trends and applications, including talks and networking sessions with influential Big Data experts.
The Accel Big Data Fund is aligned with Cloudera, the company leading innovation in Hadoop, to give Fund-backed companies access to Cloudera’s industry and customer insights, as well as advice on developing applications on the Apache Hadoop platform.
“The challenges facing enterprises as they struggle to capture, understand and use Big Data are enormous,” said Mike Olson, CEO of Cloudera. “The kind of high-speed innovation that can help meet those challenges demands the attention of smart, driven entrepreneurs with the resources they need to turn great ideas into products and services. We wholeheartedly support Accel Partners’ commitment to providing the money, advice and relationships that can make that happen. We believe that the open source Apache Hadoop community has built exactly the right platform to launch the next generation of great companies solving real business and social problems.”