Jan 26, 2017

Chris Lynch leaving VC firm Accomplice

When people ask me to name the most important venture capital firm in Boston, my answer is always the same: Accomplice. Now, however, it seems that the firm has grander geographic aspirations.

Here's what's happening, per a source familiar with the situation (and confirmed by Accomplice partner Jeff Fagnan):

  • Accomplice is expanding west, with plans to hire a partner and between one and two junior investment professionals in San Francisco. In the interim, Boston-based Fagnan plans to spend around half of his time in San Francisco. Also working out of San Francisco is Dustin Dolginow, who also helps manage the Maiden Lane seed funds (an affiliate of both Accomplice and AngelList).
  • The firm plans to begin raising its next fund in Q4. That vehicle is expected to feature an even split of Massachusetts and California-based tech startups.
  • Chris Lynch, who joined as a partner in 2012 after selling his company (Vertica) to HP for $350 million, will not be a partner on that next fund. He also is no longer making new investments, although he's continuing to serve on existing portfolio company boards.

Currently, this leaves Accomplice with five investment professionals who can write checks.

Why this matters: Accomplice is hardly the biggest or most successful VC firm in Boston, but it has been laser-focused on fostering a local tech ecosystem that badly needed a catalyst. It also has been a major player in terms of local philanthropy, via its creation of TUGG. The westward expansion might concern some locals who have seen this geo-creep before (e.g., Greylock, CRV), although Fagnan's past history with dispersed Atlas Venture (which once had offices all over the world) should keep ambitions relatively grounded.

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