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Accel buys into Big Data hype with $100M venture fund

Accel Partners launched a $100 million Big Data Fund at the sold-out Hadoop World conference in New York Tuesday in an effort to help start-ups exploit new data types expected to dominate computing and networks for years to come.

Accel said its $100M will "fund transformative early stage and growth companies throughout the Big Data ecosystem, from next generation storage and data management platforms to a wide range of revolutionary software applications and services – i.e. data analytics, business intelligence, collaboration, mobile, vertical applications and many more. We believe the future multi-billion software companies will be emerge from the Big Data ecosystem." Accel will be advised on the fund by Big Data big shots such as Doug Cutting (Apache Hadoop), Gil Ebaz (Factual), Jeff Hammerbacher (Cloudera), Jeff Heer (Stanford), Hilary Mason (Bit.ly), Jay Parikh (Facebook) and Kenny Van Zant (Solarwinds). Accel has already funded numerous companies in this field, including Couchbase and Cloudera, which just raised $40 million from Accel and others to support its data management and analytics business.

What’s more, Accel will organize a Big Data Conference to take place in Silicon Valley this coming spring at a data to be determined.

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Big data, an industry buzz-term that refers generally to the gobs of information generated by Web sites, social networks, sensors and other sources apart from traditional enterprise applications.  Accel data shows Big Data already more than doubling traditional data even last year, and expects more and more native Big Data apps to emerge, and to run on platforms such as Hadoop, which the venture firm says are going mainstream.

The way Accel lays it out, private and public cloud platforms are replacing traditional infrastructure platforms from the mainframe to client/server to the Web, and that Hadoop and such Big Data platforms are replacing traditional relational database management systems. On top of all that will be collaboration, analytics, mobile and other apps that will replace or work with more established apps from Microsoft, SAS and others.

Gartner has added Big Data to its 2011 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, along with gamification and Internet of things, and shows Big Data still has a way to go before it hits the Peak of Inflated Expectations. 

The Accel fund should give it a solid boost in that direction, but saw have a slew of recently product announcements from big name companies such as Oracle, which announced its Big Data Appliance last month at OpenWorld.  Sybase, Red Lambda  and MarkLogic have also recently made Big Data related news.

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Read more about software in Network World's Software section.


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