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Accel Partners has backed some of the biggest online hits of the past few years, including Facebook, Groupon, and Angry Birds-maker Rovio. But with its new $100 million fund, the firm wants to invest in an area that's a little less sexy—"big data" startups.
Partner Ping Li acknowledges that the companies offering data infrastructure and applications don't have the name recognition of some of Accel's home runs, but he argued that they will provide the tools (or, as he put it, "the picks and shovels") that online companies need if they're going to serve millions of users or more.