Accel beefs up big data team with new hire from Splunk

SAN FRANCISCO Thu Aug 2, 2012 12:31pm IST

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SAN FRANCISCO Aug 1 (Reuters) - Venture capital firm Accel Partners said it has hired a new partner from big-data company Splunk, underscoring Silicon Valley's growing obsession with technology that helps businesses collect and analyze massive amounts of information.

Jake Flomenberg, formerly director of product management at Splunk, has "a deep technical background, and a good lens into big data" said Ping Li, a partner who manages Accel's $100 million big-data fund and its investments into companies such as data-organizing service Cloudera.

At age 28, Flomenberg is also Accel's youngest partner, Li said, which will allow him to connect with the increasingly youthful set of entrepreneurs who come knocking on Accel's door.

The hire comes at a time when Facebook, once Accel's hottest start-up, has fallen on hard times after listing on Nasdaq in May at $38. It now trades around $21, joining other high-profile consumer-Internet stocks that trade well under their IPO prices.

In contrast, many recent public-market entrants from enterprise-oriented companies have generally performed well, trading well above their IPO prices. They include names such as Splunk, business-collaboration service Jive Software, and data-security service Imperva.

Separately, Accel said Nick Mehta would join the firm as entrepreneur-in-residence. Mehta, 35, was previously chief executive of cloud-storage company LiveOffice, acquired by security- and storage- company Symantec for $115 million earlier this year.

"He's going to be doing a lot of thinking around software as a service, and the cloud," Li said, meaning software delivered on a subscription basis, and data and software accessible from anywhere rather than a specific set of computers.

Sponsoring entrepreneurs-in-residence is a common practice in Silicon Valley, where venture-capital firms see it as a way to foster start-ups while tapping into the entrepreneur's expertise.

Flomenberg and Mehta will work from Accel's Palo Alto offices, where 11 Accel partners are based. The firm also has offices in London, New York, China and India.

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