The tech industry has been buzzing about “big data” for years now. And according to venture capital firm Accel Partners, the excitement around the big data space is not set to die down any time soon — it’s just about to enter into a new phase.
Accel is announcing tonight that it has dedicated $100 million for a new investment fund called Big Data Fund 2. The fund is the same size as Accel’s first big data focused fund, which launched with $100 million back in November 2011.
As part of the new fund, Accel is also adding QlikView CTO Anthony Deighton and Imperva CEO Shlomo Kramer to its Big Data Fund Advisory Council, which Accel has said is meant to serve as a “guiding light” to help think through investments and track entrepreneurs doing interesting things in the space.
Despite the nearly identical name, Accel’s Big Data Fund 2 will mark a definite shift in focus from the firm’s first big data fund, partner Jake Flomenberg said in a phone call today. “Over the past few years, we’ve focused a tremendous amount of attention on what people like to call the ‘three Vs’ of big data: variety, volume and velocity,” he said. “We now believe there is a fourth V, which is end user value, and that hasn’t been addressed to the same extent,” and that is where Big Data Fund 2 will be focusing the bulk of its investment and attention.
Specifically, Accel believes that “last mile” for big data will be served largely by startups focused on data-driven software, or “DDS.” These startups have largely been made possible through the hardware and infrastructure technology innovations that defined big data’s first wave, Flomenberg says. In a prepared statement from Accel, Facebook engineering VP Jay Parikh, who also serves on Accel’s Big Data Advisory Council, explained it like this:
“The last mile of big data will be built by a new class of software applications that enable everyday users to get real value out of all the data being created. Today’s entrepreneurs are now able to innovate on top of a technology stack that has grown increasingly powerful in the last few years – enabling product and analytical experiences that are more personalized and more valuable than ever.”
One example Flombenberg pointed to as an example of a “fourth V” DDS startup is RelateIQ, the “next generation relationship manager” software startup which launched out of stealth last week with some $29 million in funding from Accel and others.
Accel’s existing portfolio of big data investments also includes Cloudera, Couchbase, Lookout, Nimble Storage, Opower, Prismatic, QlikView, Sumo Logic, and Trifacta.