| SAN FRANCISCO
SAN FRANCISCO Dec 12 Two of Silicon Valley's
most respected venture capitalists are cutting back their roles
at Accel Partners, the big-name firm best known for its early
investment in Facebook.
Kevin Efrusy, who as a junior partner had brought Facebook
to the attention of Accel, said he will not be a managing member
of the firm's next venture fund. Accel's investors expect the
firm to raise more capital early in 2014.
Managing members typically control a firm's direction and
"It's a technical change I asked for that they
accommodated," Efrusy said, adding he didn't want so much
involvement in decision-making at the firm level.
"I'm here, I'm doing investments, I'm not retiring. I'm
working full time," he said. Efrusy's investments include
business-loan company Capital Access Network, software company
Couchbase and deals site Groupon.
Theresia Gouw Ranzetta has told her portfolio start-up
companies that she, too, will pass on a managing member role
with Accel's next fund, two people familiar with the matter
said. She also will stop making new investments.
A spokeswoman for Accel did not immediately respond to a
request for comment on Gouw's move.
In her 14 years at Accel, Gouw has led many successful
investments, such as data-security service Imperva and
real estate company Trulia. Gouw now wants to scale
back her commitments to have more free time, a person familiar
with the matter said.
Gouw will retain her 14 board seats and continue to advise
the companies she is backing currently, the person said,
including cosmetics-subscription company Birchbox, hotel-booking
service Hotel Tonight and online retailer ModCloth. Like Efrusy,
she will continue to attend partner meetings.
Gouw's decision to ratchet back on her role will leave
Accel's Palo Alto headquarters, like many firms in Silicon
Valley, without a female managing member. Women comprise just 11
percent of venture capitalists, according to the National
Venture Capital Association. Accel has a senior female partner,
Sonali De Rycker, in its London office.
Accel recently hired Brian O'Malley, formerly head of seed
and early stage investments at Battery Ventures, to join the
firm as a partner. It also recently hired four other investing
professionals at the principal and venture partner level, and
two operating partners.
Accel, which is best known for its investment in Facebook
, in which it reaped a $5.8 billion gain on a $47 million
investment, has had about $5 billion in initial public offerings
or acquisitions of portfolio companies in recent months. Those
include the sale of payments service Braintree to eBay
for $800 million and the IPO of Nimble Storage,
Accel raised its latest funds, Accel XI, at $475 million,
and Accel Growth Fund II, at $875 million, in 2011.