VC fund briefs, week of Nov. 19, 2007

Accel Partners raises $520M

Accel Partners last week announced that it has raised $520 million for its 10th early stage fund. The firm raised $400 million for fund IX, which closed in 2004.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based firm plans to invest Accel X over the next three years in information technology, Internet, digital media, mobile, networking and enterprise software, according to a press release. In addition the firm is close to finalizing the details on the funding of a gaming startup, according to Accel General Partner Theresia Gouw Ranzetta.

“We’re also seeing a growing interest in enterprise companies,” she says.

When asked if the firm would consider cleantech deals, Ranzetta—who focuses primarily on software, security and the Internet—said that most cleantech deals are too capital intensive for the early stage firm, such as the building of a biofuels plant. “But if we come across a cleantech storage deal that makes sense for us, we would consider it,” she says.

The firm raised fund X less than two months after Accel announced it was co-funding a new $10 million vehicle called fbFund with The Founders Fund, which will be administered by Facebook. The fund will invest between $25,000 and $250,000 in startups dedicated to developing Facebook applications. Founders Fund and Accel will then get the right of first refusal for the first round of financing of any company in the fund. Accel was an early investor in Facebook, which was recently valued at $15 billion following a $240 million investment by Microsoft last month.

The new fund also follows Accel’s partnership with IDG Technology Venture Investment. In the summer, the firms announced a joint $510 million China investment fund, IDG-Accel China Growth Fund II, to invest in China.

Accel’s 10th fund also comes as the firm has had 10 liquidity events over the last year, which includes four portfolio companies that went public and six that were acquired.

Skyline Ventures raises $350M

Skyline Ventures has closed its fifth health care-focused venture fund with $350 million in capital commitments. The firm raised $175 million for fund IV, which closed in 2005, and which invested across stages. The new vehicle will invest in about 15 companies with a total of between $15 million and $35 million invested in each.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Skyline began raising the fund in late June and closed on its hard cap of investor commitments in late October. In a separate announcement, Skyline announced that it co-led an investment in Dicerna Pharmaceuticals Inc., its first commitment for the new fund.

In announcing the new fund, Skyline said in the last 12 months three of its portfolio companies were sold and four launched IPOs.

The firm has also expanded its team, hiring Stephen Hoffman, who heads the firm’s Waltham, Mass.-based office, which Skyline opened in May. “That part of the country will continue to be a major focus for our investing,” says John Freund, managing director at Skyline.