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Accel appoints ex-Facebooker Nir Blumberger as Venture Partner to focus on Israel

TechCrunch TechCrunch 8/06/2016 Steve O'Hear

VC firm Accel’s London office has appointed a new Venture Partner to focus on Israel. Nir Blumberger has joined from Facebook, where he was a Corporate Development executive, and, we’re told, was involved in M&A and strategy in areas such as virtual/augmented reality, messaging and video. He’ll be based in Tel Aviv, giving Accel a much more formal presence in Israel, the country where Blumberger was born and raised.

Prior to his time at the social networking behemoth, he worked for McKinsey & Company in Europe and Israel. Blumberger has an MBA from Stanford University and previously studied computer science at The Interdisciplinary Center in Israel, where he participated in the Zell Entrepreneurship Program. He has also co-founded two technology startups and was a participant at Singularity University’s Graduate Studies Program.

Meanwhile, although Blumberger’s appoint signals a doubling down by Accel in Israel — I’m told it’s the first time in the VC firm’s 30 plus year history that it has had someone based in Israel who is solely focused on Israeli investments — it’s not new to investment activity in the country.

Current and past investments include enterprise security companies Aorato (acquired by Microsoft) and publicly-listed Imperva, global services marketplace Fiverr and data governance solutions provider Varonis Systems. Most recently, Accel led a $12 million Series B in E8 Storage, an early-stage enterprise storage company founded in Tel Aviv.

Philippe Botteri, Partner at Accel, said in a statement: “Israel is a vibrant hub for innovation, and Accel has long-held conviction in the great ideas and entrepreneurs that have emerged from the region. We are seeing exciting companies and technologies come out of Israel at an increasing pace, making it the perfect time for us to expand our presence. We are thrilled to have Nir join our team from Facebook. His world-class technology and business background from Israel and Silicon Valley make him a perfect fit for Accel.”

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