Often when I speak at conferences, I show a Venn diagram because it perfectly illustrates my career and interests. When I started my career, I lived in the startup world, working to build an internet analytics company called Personify and then driving sales at iManage, a knowledge and content management company. Then I moved to the finance world, attending business school and working for Goldman Sachs as an investment banker. Although investment banking allowed me to work with tech companies when they were being bought, sold or going public, I missed being part of the fast moving emerging technology ecosystem which led me to becoming a tech investor – a fascinating hybrid of both worlds. I spent the last five years as a partner with CMEA Capital as part of the technology team investing in companies with game changing technology and business models. To say it has been fun is an understatement….
Now I am making a move that will allow me to bring even more to the companies I’m investing in and in essence lead me deeper into the intersection of finance and technology: I am joining Intel Capital.
The VC industry is evolving – it is no longer sufficient to just be a source of capital. As an investor, you need to bring something additional to the table. Intel Capital has an entire platform of important resources for startups; access to the Intel’s global business and brilliant technologists, the ability to leverage the technology ecosystem that in some way most technology companies utilize, ability to provide access to key C level industry contacts, one of the few truly global investor networks and the credibility that comes with being a Fortune 500 company. At Intel Capital, in addition to capital I will be able to bring these resources to startups to help them grow.
Deals with corporate linked VC participation reached a four year high in 2012. As an investor, I’ve transitioned from skepticism to actually seeking corporate venture partners out as co-investors because I’ve seen these partners bring value beyond dollars to the startups I’ve worked with. At CMEA, in the last 24 to 36 months a growing number of our investments included capital from a strategic investor. Still, as in any business there are corporate VCs who do it right and those who fall short. Intel Capital has been one of the most active tech VCs over the past 20 years with a true global footprint and an investing platform spanning from consumer internet to semiconductors. This consistent investing through economic and hype cycles has helped distinguish Intel Capital from other corporate venture groups.
At Intel Capital, I will be focusing on consumer internet, mobile web and virally distributed software investments as part of the consumer Internet team. Most people who know me know how much I love companies with deep data expertise (yes, even before “big data” was a thing) and I will continue to seek out teams who build delightfully simple products and services but feed off of massive data and intelligence around it. It is the core of personalization and delivering great user experiences and what drives the products we all love.
I already know some of the great investors whom have joined here recently including Carey Lai, Ken Elefant, Dharmesh Thakker and Christine Herron. I am excited to join them and the rest of the talented Intel Capital team in this new phase in my career.