Venture capital firm Accel Partners announced Tuesday that it is near closing a $500 million fund that will focus on investing in communications, Internet and software companies based in Europe and Israel. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based firm has about $3 billion under management, and past investments include Foundry Networks, RealNetworks, and Redback Networks as well as NorthPoint Communications and Quokka.
The fund will focus on making early-stage investments in the first or second financing rounds. Accel partner Alan Austin said the fund will seek to co-invest in start-ups with other European VC firms. The firm added two new partners to help lead the European fund. Kaj-Erik Relander was formerly the CEO of Sonera, a Finland-based telecom company, and Joe Golden served as Cisco Systems? managing director of business development and strategic alliances for Europe, Middle East and Africa.