It used to be that corporate venture investors did not even disclose private company investments, except in special cases. Now they regularly announce such deals. Intel’s corporate venturing unit is going further, standing out above other corporate VCs, not only in terms of dealmaking but also in what it does to help portfolio companies meet customers, network, and get some media attention.
A case in point is the Intel Capital’s annual conference for portfolio companies, which once was a very exclusive clubby event but is now a very public affair. Its most recent gathering was professionally produced. It had 1,000 participants including CEOs, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, industry executives, customers, partners, press and Intel Capital’s portfolio company leaders (See a video of the kickoff fireside chat) .
As a result of that kind of effort, one journalist said that Intel is now in a category with Andreesen, Horowitz, one of the new generation of game-changing VC firms in Silicon Valley. Andreesen Horowitz, for example, employs a staff of 66 to provide assistance in design, marketing, human resources, and promotion through its blogmagazine.
We can assume Intel Capital has the budget for this kind of thing because it has been generating returns . It leads corporate VCs with the most M&A and IPO exits in 2013 (see ranking above) and did well last year too, according to CB Insights. Recent notable exits of Intel’s corporate venture arm include YuMe, which went public in August and energy management startup JouleX, acquired by Cisco for USD 107 mn.
It is also an investor in many upcoming tech IPOs, according to CB Insights. The developments at Intel Capital and its more public profile is another sign that venture capital is changing, evolving into something less intransparent. We have written about this trend here. (Image source: Intel Global Summit press)