Accel’s so-called ‘fund’

November 8, 2011, 11:47 PM UTC

When is a VC fund not a VC fund?

It looks like venture capital firm Accel Partners has successfully taken a page out of the Kleiner Perkins playbook, announcing a so-called “fund” for the purposes of hyping a new investment strategy.

Accel this morning said that it has launched a $100 million “Big Data Fund,” but the $100 million isn’t actually new money raised to invest in big data startups. Instead, it’s basically a new allocation drawn from several already-raised funds – including its U.S. early-stage and growth vehicles — as first reported by WSJ’s Deborah Gage. But no one pays attention to a change in allocation, so Accel is calling it a “fund.” Kind of like Kleiner Perkins did with its sFund last year.

Hey, I’m not really knocking it. Such a PR strategy clearly works (as evidenced by this very post), and probably will help increase big data deal-flow to the firm. But we should recognize it for what it is: Smart marketing rather than successful fundraising.

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