We have become a society of data hoarders, saving every transaction, social conversation and even movement in hopes that someday it might be useful. This has moved big data from being the almost exclusive concern of Internet giants and financial firms into almost popular conversation. Accel Partners believes the trend will continue and is willing to make a big commitment to make sure big data moves forward.
Big Data, Big Business
Technology trends such as social media, mobile and activity monitors are causing rapid growth in unstructured data that traditional relational databases are unable to efficiently manage. The potential business value of the insights hidden in these piles of data has driven many companies to explore and adopt new technology tools such as Hadoop and NoSQL.
This movement has created a new market for products to make it easier for companies without the technical savvy of Google or Amazon to use these emerging technologies. Even more companies have emerged because of things that the technology enables. These companies use data to predict trends, identify security flaws and drive business decisions. There is big money in big data. Don’t believe it? Cloudera just raised US$ 40 million to expand its Hadoop business further.
Accel Partners wants to make sure it gets its share of this rising stream of revenue. The venture capital firm has created a US$ 100 million Big Data Fund that it will use to invest in big data-related startups around the globe. According to company representatives, the goal of the fund is to accelerate adoption of big data tools so they become a ubiquitous part of the technology environment instead of being considered evolutionary or cutting-edge.
Accel has engaged a number of big data’s who’s who as advisors, such as bit.ly’s Hilary Mason, Cloudera’s Jeff Hamerbacher and Doug Cutting and Facebook’s Jay Parikh to help with the fund. In addition, Accel will partner with one of its current companies it invests in, Cloudera, to help drive the fund's investments, which will will focus on infrastructure, storage, security and enterprise applications, all the way up to business intelligence, mobile apps, financial trading apps and several other types of applications that manage or rely on big data.
Accel’s new large investment in big data will likely cement its position as financial drivers of the burgeoning industry. I’m certain it will soon be rewarded handsomely for its efforts.