Biggest Q1 investments from the top corporate VCs

Ronny Kerr · April 12, 2016 · Short URL:

Intel, Google, Qualcomm, Salesforce, and SoftBank have made over a thousand investments since 2010

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In February, Steve published a piece exploring the rise of corporate venture capitalists. Today, nearly a quarter of all VC dollars in the U.S. come from these VC arms of corporate firms, according to CB Insights. But who are these firms and what kinds of companies do they invest in?

To provide a snapshot of corporate VC investments from the past quarter, below I've highlighted the top Q1 2016 investments from the most active corporate venture capital firms since 2010, using data published this week by investment research site PitchBook. (One thing to remember is that firms sometimes participate in rounds where the amount has not been disclosed, so these have been left out.)


1. Intel Capital (395 investments)

Out of a dozen investments from the first quarter of 2016, the biggest round that saw participation from Intel Capital was Bromium's $40 million Series D round. Bromium, which raised the same amount in its 2013 Series C round, uses virtual hardware to protect against malware and computer viruses.

Honorable mentions: DataRobot ($33 million), Skyport Systems ($30 million).


2. GV (314)

With more than a dozen investments last quarter, GV participated in two rounds sized at $75 million each.

In January, the firm led a $75 million Series C for Pindrop, a service that uses audio analysis to protect enterprise call centers from fraud and other engineered attacks. And, in February, GV participated in the $75 million Series A round for Forty Seven, a young healthcare startup developing a program to combat tumors and cancer cells.

It's also worth mentioning that GV joined a $150 million round for LendUp, which provides an alternative to payday loans. GV's portion was part of a $50 million Series B, announced along $100 million in debt financing.

Honorable mentions: Juicero ($70 million), ARMO BioSciences ($50 million)


3. Qualcomm Ventures (189)

There's a significant drop off after Intel Capital and GV. 189 investments since 2010 is nothing to scoff at, but it's less than half of the number made by Intel Capital.

That said, even though Qualcomm Ventures made less than a dozen investments last quarter, the biggest round it joined was a doozy: the $793.5 million Series C round for augmented reality company Magic Leap. There's no telling how much exactly Qualcomm contributed, especially since it joined a long list of investors: Alibaba Group (leading the round), Google (distinct from GV), Warner Bros., Fidelity Management, and many more.

Interestingly, Qualcomm has been the fourth biggest investor in healthcare since 2010 (among both corporate and standard VCs), according to PitchBook. At Vator Splash Health 2016 in February, Jack Young (Partner at Qualcomm Life Fund, a division of Qualcomm Ventures focused on "wireless health") joined an investor panel to discuss the healthtech sector. Learn more here.

Honorable mention: Stratoscale ($27 million)


4. Salesforce Ventures (141)

While Qualcomm may have pushed down on the brakes, Salesforce Ventures fired ahead with over a dozen investments last quarter.

The biggest funding it joined was the $90 million late-stage round for Anaplan, a cloud-based business planning and modeling platform for finance, sales, supply chain, and HR.

Honorable mentions: BloomReach ($56 million), Qubit ($40 million).


5. SoftBank Capital (115)

I could only find a few investments from SoftBank Capital this quarter, which reflects its parent company's decision last summer to wind down the venture capital arm.

The firm's biggest investment this quarter was in YourMechanic, an on-demand auto repair platform, which closed $24 million in new funding last month.

Honorable mention: ($23 million)

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