Accel Partners

Exclusive: Jim Breyer reducing role at Accel Partners

March 19, 2014: 9:58 PM ET

Early Facebook investor Jim Breyer plans to spend more time investing personal capital, and less at the VC firm where he has spent the past 27 years.


Jim Breyer

FORTUNE -- Jim Breyer of Accel Partners is one of the most successful venture capitalists of all time, thanks largely to his early bet in a small social networking company called Facebook (FB). Now he's switching things up a bit, cutting back his time at Accel in order to spend more time with Breyer Capital, a personal investment vehicle he first formed back in 2006.

Breyer will not be listed as a so-called "keyman" on Accel's twelfth flagship venture capital fund, which is said to be effectively raised. The same would go for Accel's third growth equity fund. Fortune had previously reported on the fundraising efforts in January.

[UPDATE: Accel will announce tomorrow morning that the funds are both closed. The early-stage fund came in at $475 million (same size as Accel XI), while the growth equity fund is $1 billion (compared to $875 million last time). The official fund closes occurred this past Monday.]

He still will be considered a partner on the funds, with the expectation that he will originate new investments (just recently, Breyer led Accel's investment in bitcoin startup Circle Financial). But Breyer will not be part of the new funds' top management group and, in theory, fund investors would have no recourse if Breyer ultimately chose to leave all together.

"My understanding is that Jim will sometimes be investing through Accel, sometimes through Breyer Capital and often through both at the same time," says one of Accel's limited partners. "I think he just wanted the extra flexibility, and didn't want to commit himself 100% to Accel for the next five years."

Since its formation, Breyer Capital has co-invested in Accel deals on which Breyer has joined the board (including Facebook), plus in non-Accel deals such as Marvel Entertainment, The Boston Celtics and social entrepreneurship efforts.

In addition to Facebook, Breyer's Accel deals have included Brightcove (BCOV), Model N (MODN), RealNetworks (RNWK), Etsy and Legendary Pictures. He also has served as a director with such companies as Dell Inc., Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) and News Corp. (NWS), and since last year has been part of Harvard University's governing board.

Breyer was listed atop the Forbes Midas List for top technology venture capitalists for 2011, 2012 and 2013.

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