The quarterly Global Corporate Venturing webinar, sponsored by software provider Relevant Equity Systems, provided the opportunity to highlight some of the trends revealed by our database of deals and fundraising between April and June, as well providing an opportunity for corporate venturing executives to air their feelings about some negative comments by one of the venture industry’s best-known executives, Union Square Ventures’ Fred Wilson.
This second quarter (Q2) has an estimated 246 corporate venture capital (CVC) investments worth $5bn, with 40 exits and further flotations expected as registrations and roadshows particular in biotech and enterprise information technology (IT) are picking up by number. (Last year’s value of initial public offerings was boosted by Facebook’s $104bn flotation.)
There will be further coverage in the July issue of Global Corporate Venturing, including its 12-page data supplement, but a few takeaways: M&A from portfolio companies was up by a third; series A leads by number of deals; IT most active, healthcare rebounds; and Asia and Europe dealmaking is increasing but US still leads.
The webinar recording is here
The webinar also includes an excellent panel discussion moderated by Ray Haarstick, chief executive of Relevant, and including Davorin Kuchan, chief executive of chip maker Texas Instruments’ venture and Innovation unit, and Erik Sebusch, partment at venture capital firm CMEA Capital, on “Exploring the delicate relationship between VCs [venture capitalists] and CVCs”.
Kuchan, Haarstick (who has raised corporate venturing money from Thomson Reuters for his own firm) and Sebusch had their feet “put to the fire” on identifying where CVCs and VCs were going wrong in their relationships and, crucially, how to identify the right questions to ask each other and begin communicating better. Kuchan also shared his venture one-page brochure
– the text taken from his website.
This relationship has been “delicate” for some time but was explored in light of noted VC Fred Wilson, founder of VC firm Union Square Ventures, warning on a PandoDaily video entrepreneurs “never” to work with strategic investors. (See last week’s ezine comment for our editorial take on Wilson’s subsequent “apology”.)
Interestingly, 43% of attendees on the webinar – primarily corporate venturers – agreed with Wilson’s view that strategics “suck”, while 32% disagreed and 21% strongly disagreed. Two-thirds of these attendees added that, overall, VCs were “playing nicer” with CVCs in recent years.