Accel raises $650 million European startup fund

Accel, the Silicon Valley investor known for backing Monzo, GoCardless, and Synthesia, has raised a $650 million European startup fund.

This eighth early-stage European fund from Accel will support startups from seed to series A in the UK, Europe, and Israel.

Andrei Brasoveanu, a Partner at Accel, commented on LinkedIn: “When we opened our office in London 24 years ago, Europe’s tech ecosystem was nascent and far from an obvious choice to build a team on the ground. It took another five years for the first unicorn to appear, but now the talent flywheel is spinning and so many fantastic companies have paved the way for the next generation of founders.”

When Accel opened its London office in 2000, Europe’s technology ecosystem was in its early stages, and many doubted its potential to produce billion-dollar companies. Accel became one of the first Silicon Valley venture firms to establish a European presence.

Since then, Europe has witnessed its first unicorn in 2005 (Skype), its first decacorn in 2016 (Supercell), and its first cloud decacorn in 2020 (UiPath). The ecosystem has continued to grow, becoming a hub of talent, innovation, and ambition.

According to Dealroom data, the European and Israeli VC market is now nearly half the size of the US market, with approximately $66 billion invested in 2023.

Accel has backed over 200 companies across more than 60 cities and 20 countries in Europe and Israel, including locations like Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, and Serbia, beyond the region's traditional tech hubs. Among venture capital firms, Accel has invested in the most European and Israeli-founded unicorns at the Series A stage.

Upon announcing the fund, Partner at Accel, Harry Nelis, said: “The talent flywheel is spinning. As former employees become founders, many of Europe and Israel’s unicorns are fuelling the next wave of tech startups in the region, and there’s a thriving network of people around them – product, engineering and management – who have also been on the startup journey before.

“Almost 25 years since setting up our team here, we’re thrilled to announce our eighth early-stage fund and look forward to partnering with the region’s future founders!”

Accel aims to identify Europe’s next billion-dollar companies at the earliest stages, relying on insights from the hundreds of entrepreneurs it has supported over the past 24 years. In 2021, Accel launched a scouts programme across Europe. Selected scouts – typically startup founders or executives – are allocated $200,000 each to invest in European startups.

The programme has grown significantly, now featuring around 40 scouts, double the number at its inception.