We’ve heard from multiple sources that famed Silicon Valley investor Jim Breyer may be leaving Accel.He tells us he’s not.
Here’s what’s going on.
A few days ago, PEHub’s Connie Loizos wrote about Breyer’s personal fund, Breyer Capital.
Although the fund was formed in 2006 and it isn’t staffed, Breyer Capital hasn’t ever appeared in the media until this year. Its recent coverage raised a flag for the reporter, and she went digging.
Breyer told the reporter that his personal fund was “nothing new.”
Loizos concluded, “It’s far from a safe bet that Breyer is transitioning out of Accel.”
But she also wrote this:
“With a personal stake in Facebook in the neighbourhood of $700 million (at today’s valuation), along with interests that might not always align with those of Accel (and may even compete with them), it wouldn’t be the most surprising development if it turns out that Breyer is paving the way for his next act.”
And now, rumours have begun that Breyer is on his way out.
For example, this morning we were pinged with a “hot tip” that Breyer was leaving Accel.
This source said Breyer is “never seen at Accel,” and “he doesn’t spend much time there anymore.” Other sources within the VC community and at an Accel portfolio company said they had heard rumours of Breyer’s departure too.
When we pinged Breyer, he made it abundantly clear that the rumours are false.
“No: completely untrue,” he said.
As for Breyer Capital he told us he occasionally invests in companies alongside Accel.
“I formed Breyer Capital several years ago and invest alongside Accel deals where I join the board (Facebook, Etsy, Legendary Pictures) as well as in social entrepreneurs and largely Chinese and Brazilian non-Accel projects.”
It’s unusual for brand name venture capitalists to invest in companies outside the firms that made them famous.
The reason: the limited partners in those firms – the people funding the whole operation – tend to complain.
That’s unlikely to happen in Breyer’s case, we understand, because he himself is a big investor in Accel. He’s got plenty of incentive to make sure the firm gets the best deals he discovers.
One more thing we should all be honest about.
Breyer’s value to Accel has little or nothing to do with him being “day-to-day” at the firm’s offices.
His value is in bringing amazing companies like Facebook into its portfolio and in sitting on the boards of huge companies like News Corp, Wal-Mart, and Dell.
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