VC firm Accel Partners just closed two funds worth more than $1 billion.
$525 million will go toward a London-based fund for European startups.
The rest — about $480 million — will create the Accel Growth Fund, the firm’s first for late-stage companies.
“We’ve been seeing companies looking for some capital both to grow and also, in these times, for cushion,” Accel partner Theresia Gouw Ranzetta told the New York Times.
One of such company needing money for growth and cushion is Facebook — probably the most high profile startup already in Accel’s portfolio of investments. Accel invested $13 million in Facebook way back in 2005. The headline for the press release even calls the company thefacebook.com.
Facebook needs cash and soon as revenues continue to miss expectations. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently admitted CFO Gideon Yu continues to try to raise money at the valuation Microsoft set last fall when it bought 1.6% of Facebook for $240 million.
But despite travelling as far as Dubai, Yu has had trouble digging up more cash. Just as telling, Facebook recently cancelled an employee stock sale after it couldn’t find investors to buy less valuable common shares at a $4 billion valuation.
Basically, Facebook needs a hero. And it’s gotta be soon.
Enter Accel partner and Facebook board member Jim Breyer, carrying about $480 million in cash.
Did his firm launch its first late-stage fund ever for a Facebook bailout? A chance to take a larger and more controlling stake yet in a company that just passed the 130 million user mark?
We don’t know. But such opportunies are “one of the positives of these difficult, uncertain economic times,” says Accel partner Ranzetta.
Update: We’re hearing this speculation may be more accurate than we knew. Know something? Say something. Reach me at [email protected] or 646-747-1539.
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