Accel Partners, a venture capital firm that has invested in Spotify, BlaBlaCar and DropBox, has hired a Facebook executive to find the most promising technology companies in Israel.
Nir Blumberger, a corporate development executive at Facebook, will be leading investments in consumer and enterprise startups in the region on behalf of Accel, which has $9 billion (£6.17 billion) under management globally, with $2.5 billion (£1.7 billion) of that specifically for startups in Europe and Israel.
Blumberger, who was born and raised in Israel, will be working with Accel’s London team, which raised a $500 million (£344 million) fund in April.
Philippe Botteri, partner at Accel, said in a statement: “Israel is a vibrant hub for innovation, and Accel has long-held conviction in the great ideas and entrepreneurs that have emerged from the region. We are seeing exciting companies and technologies come out of Israel at an increasing pace, making it the perfect time for us to expand our presence. We are thrilled to have Nir join our team from Facebook. His world-class technology and business background from Israel and Silicon Valley make him a perfect fit for Accel.”
Blumberger, a previous employee at McKinsey & Company and a Stanford MBA graduate, added: “I’m thrilled to come home to Tel Aviv and to do so with Accel, one of the world’s best venture firms. I look forward to partnering with our great entrepreneurs to build — and scale! — world-class companies, leveraging Accel’s global network to its fullest extent. I’ve been excited about seeing bolder and more diverse ideas coming out of Israel, and I look forward to contributing everything that I have.”
Other London-based venture capitalists such as Index Ventures and Balderton Capital have also hired executives from US tech giants. Balderton, for example, hired Lars Fjeldsoe-Nielsen, Uber’s VP of mobile, last year.