Sometime in the last week or so, we’ve heard from multiple sources, Accel Partners has sold very significant chunks of Facebook stock. So significant, in fact, that their ownership percentage has dropped to a point where they are no longer the largest venture shareholder in the company.
Prior to the sale they had somewhere around 10% of Facebook. They paid just $12.7 million for that stock, in 2005. Our understanding is they sold somewhere around 20% of that position, meaning they own 8% or so of Facebook now.
So who bought it, and what was the price?
We’ve heard these current trades occurred at a $35 billion valuation from one source. Another said $40 billion, and yet a third said “way lower.” Whatever the price, it’s likely half a billion dollars or more that Accel is taking off the table. Our guess is the valuation is somewhere between $20 billion and $35 billion.
To be clear, we haven’t confirmed some of this. But it’s pretty clear Accel is selling a lot of Facebook stock right now, and that at least Andreessen Horowitz is one of the buyers – they confirmed to us that they have begun buying shares, but won’t comment on price or number.
Update: More information from a new source with knowledge of the deal. Accel has sold a substantial amount of stock Something less than 20% of their total holdings, and the sale(s) are occurring at a $35 billion enterprise valuation. That’s a 247x return on Accel’s initial investment. Our best guess is it was total sale of around $500 million. It’s still unclear if Accel or DST is now the largest venture shareholder of Facebook.
Andreessen Horowitz confirmed that they purchased stock from Accel, but it was just a fraction of the total stock sold by Accel.
It’s also worth noting that Accel Partner Jim Breyer’s personal stake in Facebook is worth some $350,000,000 (minus dilution for subsequent venture rounds and employees since 2005) at this new valuation. He purchased 1% of Facebook for himself at the time Accel invested. Not a bad day at the office.