Dell Ventures, the strategic investment arm of Dell, is launching a $300-million strategic innovation venture fund. The fund will invest in early-to-growth-stage companies in emerging technology areas including storage, cloud computing, Big Data, next-generation data centre, security and mobility.
This is Dell's second major investment fund and builds on the $60 million Dell Fluid Data Storage Fund announced last year. However, it is not immediately clear if this fund will invest in Indian companies as well. "The expansion of our venture investing will allow us to support entrepreneurs who are helping shape the future of IT," said Dell's CFO Brian Gladden.
Dell Ventures' model is to co-invest with venture capitalists and other strategic investors, acting as a board advisor and making the full breadth of Dell resources available to the portfolio company. These resources include technical and business counsel, as well as access to brand scale, OEM solutions, and channel & go-to-market relationships.
"Since we launched our Dell Fluid Data Storage Fund last year, we have not only had positive returns on our investments and great deal flow, but have also identified companies and technologies that will help accelerate IT innovation, and more importantly, provide the best solutions for our customers," said Jim Lussier, MD, Dell Ventures.
Recently, many global IT and software majors have forayed into the VC funding industry. Last week, Pune-based Persistent Systems, a software product and technology services provider, launched Persistent Venture Fund, an early-stage fund to provide seed capital to companies operating in the areas of social, mobile, analytics and cloud computing (SMAC). Other leading companies, including Nokia (Nokia Growth Partners), Google (Google Ventures), Microsoft (Microsoft Venture), Qualcomm (Qualcomm Ventures), Intel (Intel Capital) and Catamaran (Catamaran Ventures) are already running early-stage investment funds.
Among these, Nokia, Qualcomm, Intel and Catamaran have a huge presence in India and have already invested in many companies in the country. In April this year, home-grown software major Infosys also announced that it would set up an innovation fund worth $100 million to focus on new ideas, products and platforms.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)