There are several reasons why the fund makes sense now. Here are five:
Consumerization. Accel Partners portfolio companies include companies such as Facebook and Dropbox. These are companies that are processing data on an unprecedented scale. Current database systems are unable to handle the massive scaling of unstructured data that these environments manage. Companies need ways to understand information in a different scope. What is the relationship of the user to her friends? What is the data you transferring online? Is it video, photos or standard documents? What is the mix?
The Data Analytics Ecosystem. The data analytics ecosystem of the past 20 years has spawned such companies as SAS, Teradata, Sybase and Autonomy. The next 20 years will see a new generation of companies that solve every day business problems in markets such as collaboration, security, CRM and any other field you can think of.
Picks and Shovels. Facebook is sexy but a new generation of tools are needed to extract unstructured data for such pruposes as business intelligence.
Improve Existing Tools. There is a need for new technologies but also tools to make existing practices better. There is a need for better integration.
Simplicity. Making sense of big data is still for the data scientist. There needs to be tools that everyone can use.
The Accel fund is significant. It shows the importance of Hadoop and other big data tools to solve real-world problems. These are problems that service providers increasingly need.