Allison Goldberg, senior VP and managing partner of Comcast Ventures, is among the 100 leading corporate venturing professionals in our 2024 Powerlist.

Allison Goldberg

Comcast Ventures, which shifted its investment strategy when it was integrated into Comcast NBCUniversal’s business development division four years ago, has upped its hit rate in recent months under managing partner Allison Goldberg.

“At the start of last year, we sharpened what we were focused on and made a concerted effort to go out and look for companies that were fulfilling the strategic focus areas we had set out,” says Goldberg.

“We spent time in digital health, understanding the landscape a little bit more, talked to people inside our company a little more to get better perspectives on what could be interesting for us, and made an effort to seek out those startups. We have been doing that across those focus areas and that has been yielding more deal flow for us and more interest in companies and opportunities to invest.”

Goldberg was hired by Comcast NBCUniversal in 2021, having spent 17 years at media and entertainment group, Time Warner, moving up to run corporate venture arm Time Warner Investments. She came to her current position via a stint at CVC fund manager Touchdown Ventures.

Comcast Ventures does not, however, target startups in the media and entertainment sector. Instead, it has a number of focus areas including AI, climate tech, the future of work and digital health, as well as a bucket for enabling companies in disruptive technology areas such as quantum, blockchain or cybertechnology.

Digital health is a very big sector for the unit, which focused a bit more on certain parts over the past year, such as remote patient monitoring, according to Goldberg, while the accelerated focus on AI required the Comcast Ventures team to analyse the different parts of the value chain in order to get smarter about exactly which parts of the market and what type of companies it will fund.

“It has been a really busy past 18 months or so for us. We have invested across our strategic focus areas – digital health and climate tech – so the past year or so has been great for us, though AI is definitely the one where we have seen the most deal flow and done the most deals,” Goldberg says.

“At the start of last year, we sharpened what we were focused on and made a concerted effort to go out and look for companies that were fulfi lling the strategic focus areas we had set outpanies in its portfolio”

“I have been spending a lot of time in AI and I find it fascinating. The more I read and spend time with the products, the more I find it super interesting.”

That AI deal flow has led to investments in the likes of Resemble, developer of a tool that uses deep learning to create custom voices that sound like realistic speech, and Hume, which is studying how AI can understand human emotions. Comcast Ventures backed Hume’s $12.7m series A early last year, and returned for a round this year, valuing it at $219m. But the unit’s ‘sharpening’ and its interest in AI is part of a move to constantly keep its approach fresh.

“We do a deep dive a couple of times a year on each focus area and reassess the market,” says Goldberg. “We look at what is getting funded, we talk to various stakeholders internally, talk to people outside the company and really see what types of companies are gaining traction and are interesting for us strategically.

“Then, we make an effort to reach out to those companies, bring them in, learn about them and see which ones it makes sense to invest in.”

Having made a couple of earlier iterations of the GCV Powerlist, Goldberg is a CVC veteran. She says that good management teams are still what she looks for in potential portfolio companies. The most fun part of her role over the past two and a half years has been learning about all the parts of Comcast and NBCUniversal and getting to know the people across all the departments.

As for the next year of Comcast Ventures? “We plan to focus on all those verticals,” she says. “Cybersecurity is one we are doing a deep dive into right now, so we will probably see some investments in that sector. I am just hoping to find some really great teams and companies innovating in places we think are strategic and that are growth areas for us.

“That, and helping all the companies we invest in to achieve their goals, and being active and involved with them. That is always on my list, helping with anything that is needed inside our company in terms of making connections and introductions.”

Powerlist cover

The Global Corporate Venturing Powerlist represents the 100
individuals spearheading the future of the corporate venturing industry.

These individuals excel in terms of their venturing approach and structure, number and quality of portfolio companies and in their contributions to the corporate venturing profession.

See the full 2024 Powerlist here.