Big Data gets a venture fund of its own

Accel Partners announces $100 million fund to develop Big Data applications

As enterprises find it increasingly challenging to manage the torrent of data flooding in from a widening variety of sources -- sales channels, customer service, blogs, applications, social media and others -- vendors of "Big Data" tools are racing to offer solutions.

Venture capital firm Accel Partners hopes to accelerate (and cash in on) this trend through the creation of a $100 million fund designed to "fund transformative companies throughout the Big Data ecosystem, from next generation storage and data management platforms to a wide range of revolutionary software applications and services, including data analytics, vertical applications, mobile, and many more," Accel announced Tuesday.

Accel's Big Data Fund was unveiled a day after Hadoop-based data management software and services vendor Cloudera announced a $40 million round of funding in which Accel, an original Cloudera investor, was a participant.

The new fund will be collaboratively managed by a number of Accel partners throughout the world. Here's what one of them, Ping Li, said about the Big Data opportunity:

"Big Data is the future of IT and we believe Big Data will drive the next-generation of multi-billion dollar software companies. Vendors that effectively pave the way for Big Data to be leveraged for ever-evolving business use cases...will determine the winners in this next wave of cloud computing."

The reason Big Data is so important goes beyond the needs of enterprises to collect and store structured and unstructured data. It's now a competitive imperative that organizations be able to extract business value from data. And that requires a new generation of data applications that go beyond the limits of traditional relational databases and other data tools.

"Big Data is creating a lasting revolution in data centers across all vertical markets, paving the way for a new set of applications to be built on new Big Data platforms rather than legacy relational databases," analyst Benjamin Woo, IDC's program vice president, storage systems and lead analyst, Big Data, said in a statement.

Accel also announced it is organizing a one-day Big Data Conference in Silicon Valley next spring.

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