Dell Ventures, has announced an expanded commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation with a $300 million Strategic Innovation Venture Fund into early-to-growth-stage companies in emerging technology areas including storage, cloud computing, big data, next-generation data center, security and mobility.
The Strategic Innovation Venture Fund is Dell’s second major investment fund and builds on the $60 million Dell Fluid Data Storage Fund announced last year. Since then, Dell has completed roadshows to meet with entrepreneurs and VCs in Silicon Valley, Boston and Israel, reviewed hundreds of companies and invested in numerous startups that have contributed to Dell’s storage and end-to-end solutions innovation. As the global business environment evolves and customers are increasingly challenged by the pace of change with virtualization, cloud computing, big data and mobility, Dell is expanding its venture investments to new areas of IT innovation.
“Dell is committed to bringing the most innovative, affordable and easy to manage technology solutions to our customers. To accomplish this, we will aggressively pursue organic investment in R&D, acquisitions and venture investing,” said Brian Gladden, Dell Chief Financial Officer. “The expansion of our venture investing will allow us to stay at the forefront of innovation for our customers, and support the entrepreneurs who are helping shape the future of IT.”
The 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, channel and go-to-market relationships.
“As a company rooted in entrepreneurial spirit, Dell understands the power entrepreneurship has on innovation,” said Jim Lussier, Managing Director of Dell Ventures. “Since we launched our storage venture capital fund last year, we have not only had positive returns on our investments and great deal flow, we have also identified companies and technologies that will help accelerate IT innovation, and more importantly, provide the best solutions for our customers. This substantial increase in our Dell Ventures fund and expansion of our technology focus beyond storage, will bring the power of Dell to even more start-ups and entrepreneurs.”
“Corporate venture capital activity is on the upswing—in 2013, more than 17 percent of all venture deals involved at least one corporate VC and the percentage of dollars put into those deals by corporate VCs has doubled from 2009 levels. If current trends continue, 2013 could be the first non-bubble year since 1995 that corporate groups have provided more than an estimated 10 percent of total venture dollars,” said Bobby Franklin, National Venture Capital Association President. “Like all of our corporate members, we expect Dell Ventures to play an important role in this growing venture ecosystem, and we are pleased to see them commit to supporting start-up companies at the early stages through investments. As the promise of new technologies continues to expand globally, companies like Dell are well positioned to add value to the venture capital process.”
In addition to equipping startups with resources through Dell Ventures, Dell provides entrepreneurs of all stages access to the technology, financing, networks and knowledge they need to turn a great idea into a successful, growing business through the Dell Center for Entrepreneurs. Spearheaded by Dell’s entrepreneur-in-residence, Ingrid Vanderveldt, and offering a number of core initiatives designed to cater to the needs of growing businesses, the Center for Entrepreneurs recently expanded into the UK and will launch in additional markets in 2014 with the help of a Global Advisory Board of entrepreneurs to lend strategic direction.
Center for Entrepreneurs’ initiatives include the Dell Innovators Credit Fund, a $115M debt capital financing program through Dell Financial Services for U.S. and U.K.-based startups that provides financial and technology resources to bolster speed-to-market and create jobs.
Another is the Dell Founders Club, targeted to entrepreneurs leading recently funded companies who view technology as a critical “backbone” to business success, and have immediate technology needs to scale quickly. Members receive exclusive benefits including concierge-level support and unparalleled access to the team inside Dell to help their emerging businesses get to market quicker. Since the launch in June 2012, the Founders Club has grown to over members over 150 members; creating a diverse, robust and highly beneficial network for CEOs and Founders of fast-growth startups.