November 30, 2020
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  • 5:28 am Comcast to narrow focus of Comcast Ventures, leading to partner defections
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first_imgMany of Comcast Ventures’ best performing investments through the years have been strategic in nature, including CTI Towers, which Melody Investment Advisors acquired earlier this month, said the people. It has become increasingly difficult to compete for targets as more funds, such as SoftBank‘s Vision Fund, General Atlantic and Insight Venture Partners, raise tens of billions of dollars for startups. The last two years have both been record setting in terms of venture dollars invested in U.S. companies, according to The National Venture Capital Association.Refocusing Comcast Ventures on companies that support broadband distribution and streaming video could help Comcast stay ahead of trends while being more disciplined on investments the company understands best.Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, parent company of CNBC.WATCH: Venture capitalist Bob Davis weighs in on Big Tech regulation and the future of VC Amy Banse, the head of funds for Comcast Ventures, announced her retirement in September. Dave Zilberman, a 15-year Comcast Ventures veteran, said this week he was leaving for Norwest Venture Partners .When Banse announced her departure, Comcast said CFO Michael Cavanaugh would take over leadership of Comcast Ventures. In the past two months, Cavanaugh and former Comcast CFO Michael Angelakis, who now runs the private investment firm Atairos with capital from Comcast, reviewed the fund’s strategy and decided it’s a better fit within Schwartz’s business development unit, one of the people said.Schwartz was one of the founding partners of Comcast Ventures more than 20 years ago. He will decide if Comcast is better served acquiring companies or making seed, venture or later-stage investments. Comcast will continue to support the existing Comcast Ventures portfolio.- Advertisement – Comcast Ventures, the corporate venture capital firm, is folding into Comcast‘s business development division and shifting its strategy to focus only on strategic investments.Partners were informed of the change this week, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the discussions were private. While Comcast Ventures will continue to operate under Comcast chief business development officer Sam Schwartz, it will no longer invest in a broad array of companies, instead focusing only on startups that can support Comcast initiatives. That change, combined with the fund’s decreased independence from Comcast, will likely lead to a number of partner defections, the people said.“Comcast Ventures has been a valuable innovation pipeline, providing insight into adjacent industries and investment opportunities” a spokesperson told CNBC. “We are aligning our approach to venture investing more closely with our business units and repositioning Comcast Ventures under the strategic business development team at Comcast Cable.  Our business development teams across the company continue to invest in new technology and businesses, which we believe will yield more strategic opportunities and benefits for Comcast and the companies in which we invest.”- Advertisement – – Advertisement –center_img Brian Roberts, Chairman and CEO of ComcastDavid A. Grogan | CNBC – Advertisement –last_img read more

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first_img1 It was Mauricio Pochettino’s 100th match in charge of the north Londoners Mauricio Pochettino insists he does not regret fielding a weakened team despite Borussia Dortmund thrashing Tottenham 3-0 in the Europa League last 16.Harry Kane was left on the bench at the Westfalenstadion as Pochettino played Nacer Chadli up front and Ryan Mason and Tom Carroll in midfield and handed 18-year-old Josh Onomah only his fourth start of the season.The decision to rest some of his top players, with Mousa Dembele also on the bench and Eric Dier left at home, backfired as Marco Reus’ double and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s header all but ended Spurs’ hopes of progress.“No regrets,” Pochettino said.“I’m very disappointed with the result but we didn’t have a very good day. It was a bad day in the office.“When we analysed the squad and picked the starting eleven we tried to win the game. It started okay but it was a really bad day for us.”The defeat leaves Tottenham with a mountain to climb in the second leg at White Hart Lane but also means Pochettino’s men are now winless in three matches, following last week’s loss at West Ham and draw with Arsenal.A trip to bottom-of-the-table Aston Villa on Sunday offers the perfect chance to bounce back as Spurs look to resume a title challenge that has them sitting five points behind league leaders Leicester.“I am not worried, I know the circumstances,” Pochettino said.“We need to accept some periods during 10 months that we will have good and bad times. We have always had things good.“It has only been in the last few games not so much. The players are very sad but we have to take the positives.“We have a big challenge against Aston Villa on Sunday. We are in a very good position in the league and we will do our best.”Placed second in the table, Tottenham will hope to face similar opposition more regularly in the Champions League next season.But while similarities were drawn between the two sides’ style of play, league position and low-budget squads before kick-off, Dortmund demonstrated Spurs still have a way to go to compete with the European elite.“I think they had a good experience but we spoke yesterday and I told them that to play at the next level you compete with teams like Borussia Dortmund, which is a real test,” Pochettino said.“It was good for us to feel what a game in the Champions League feels like.“It was disappointing because the result was bad but to build a group for the next few years to compete at the level of Borussia Dortmund is very difficult.“We were disappointed but it was a very good test for us to compare the level.”READ: ‘Mauricio Pochettino has to take this one on the chin – he got it wrong’ – Tottenham fans on manager’s selection in Europa League defeatlast_img read more

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