To wit, numerous stories published earlier today about a Boston-based, seed-stage venture called Experiment Fund — stories that mentioned Accel Partners, Polaris Venture Partners, and New Enterprise Associates as partners in the new endeavor — also include mention of Breyer Capital.
That’s a pretty new development and likely no accident. Though Breyer’s LinkedIn profile says he launched Breyer Capital in 2006, there was no mention of “Breyer Capital” in the media between 2006 and 2011’s end.
In fact, a Factiva search turns up just one previous public mention ever, and that was a Bloomberg piece dating back to February of this year, one that — listing Facebook’s board members, of which Breyer is one – characterized Breyer not as the longtime managing partner of Accel Partners, where he has worked for decades, but instead as CEO of Breyer Capital.
I’ve asked Breyer for comment and will update this piece if I learn more. I’ve also reached out to his assistant at Accel for more information about his continuing role at the storied venture capital firm, where his title is Partner and President of Accel Management Company.
(Update: Breyer just sent me an email, saying the fund is “nothing new” and that it has “no staff.”)
The site for Breyer Capital describes the organization, if it can be called that, as a “global independent growth equity investor focused on providing capital to entrepreneurial owner/operator teams pursuing excellence, genuine differentiation, and differential global/growth market opportunities.” It also says Breyer Capital’s “specific global areas of focus are emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil.”
Breyer is the only individual listed at the site.
In addition to Breyer Capital’s involvement with Experiment Fund, two of its other known investments include Legendary Pictures, a media company with film, TV, and comics divisions that raised $275 million in April of this year, including from Accel Partners, Peter Thiel, and Eric Schmidt’s personal investment vehicle, TomorrowVentures; and BrightCove, the online distribution platform that went public in February. (Breyer Capital was listed on an SEC form.)
So what does it all mean? I think it’s far from a safe bet that Breyer is transitioning out of Accel. In fact, Breyer Capital may well remain little more than a sidecar vehicle. Then again, as the New York Times recently pointed out, Breyer is already among the busiest individuals in Silicon Valley, including because he serves on the boards of numerous other public and private companies, including Wal-Mart, News Corp., Dell, and BrightCove.
And with a personal stake in Facebook in the neighborhood of $700 million (at today’s valuation), along with interests that might not always align with those of Accel (and may even compete with them), it wouldn’t be the most surprising development if it turns out that Breyer is paving the way for his next act.
Image credit: Jim Breyer of Accel Partners in Palo Alto, Calif., 2010. Photo by Lawrence Aragon for Venture Capital Journal. Property of Thomson Reuters