Accel, a prominent, long-time name in the startup venture capital scenery that has backed the likes of Skype, Supercell, UiPath and others, has unveiled its eighth European fund. The investment firm has now successfully closed a $650Mn fund dedicated to supporting early-stage startups in Europe and Israel. The new fund specifically targets early-stage startups, aiming to identify and invest in promising companies.

From the looks of it, Accel is looking to prioritize driving investments in early-stage startups in the AI and cybersecurity landscapes (both of which are expected to significantly disrupt various industries in the near future). This aligns perfectly with the emergence of prominent AI hubs in European cities like London and Paris, which are known to boast major research labs established by tech giants like Alphabet (home to DeepMind) and Meta (with its FAIR division).

“Raising an eighth fund to invest in Israel is no longer a brave decision; it doesn’t matter what the situation is here. The first fund for activity in Israel, in 2000, was brave. Since then, Israel has always been one of our key markets, and we hope it will continue that way,” Harry Nelis, a Partner at Accel, said. “When we started investing in Europe and Israel, this entire market was a billion dollars, and last year it reached $66 billion.”

This development comes at a time when venture capital investment in these regions has witnessed remarkable growth over the past two decades. In 2003, the total investment stood at a modest $1.1 billion. By 2023, that figure had skyrocketed to a staggering $66 billion, and nearly €16.3 billion was invested into startups across Europe during the first quarter of the year as well. Accel’s significant investment is expected to further stimulate technological innovation within these markets. By injecting fresh capital into early-stage startups, Accel is empowering these young companies, which is likely to encourage other investors to follow suit as well. This could potentially lead to an increase in overall venture capital activity within the region, if things go well.

So far, the investment giant has invested to date in over 200 companies in Israel and Europe in order to solidify its position as one of the largest venture capital players in the region. In Israel, Accel has invested in about 30 companies, including Fiverr, Snyk, Melio, and others, while driving investments in the likes of Cyera, Vorlon Technologies, and Oasis Security in the last two months. The firm already has a proven track record of making early bets on companies that have gone on to become household names. Some of Accel’s most notable early investments include tech giants like Meta (formerly Facebook), Spotify, and the popular food delivery platform Deliveroo.