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_imgBy Karolos Grohmann(REUTERS) – Borussia Dortmund provided much-needed fireworks with a 4-0 demolition of bitter rivals Schalke 04 yesterday after the German league restarted in front of empty stands after a suspension of over two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The Bundesliga is the first major soccer league to return to action since the virus earlier this year shut down sports; and its return in a country that still has hundreds of positive virus cases a day is being closely watched by other leagues.With a strict health protocol governing the fragile restart, which includes no fans, face masks for everyone but the players, no handshakes and no group celebrations, it was up to title hopefuls Dortmund, who face leaders Bayern Munich in 10 days’ time, to find a spark badly missing in the eerily empty ground.The Ruhr valley club, in second place, scored the first goal of the match-day after nearly half an hour when teenager Erling Haaland connected with a Thorgan Hazard cutback.The exciting 19-year-old Norway striker, who knocked in his 13th goal in 12 appearances for Dortmund in all competitions, picked up exactly where he left off in March.He has already gone to the top of the transfer wish list of every major European club and, with an expected audience of a billion for the Bundesliga this weekend, his immediate return to scoring will have only enhanced his already stellar reputation.Portuguese midfielder Raphael Guerreiro added two more goals and Belgium international Hazard also got on the scoresheet as Dortmund climbed to 54 points, one behind defending champions Bayern, who are in action at Union Berlin today.When Schalke brought on Timo Becker to replace Jonjoe Kenny in the 87th minute at the 80,000-capacity Signal Iduna Park it was the first time in Bundesliga history a team had made five substitutions after FIFA announced the temporary rule change.MUTED CELEBRATIONS Goal celebrations around the Bundesliga yesterday were limited to smiles, thumbs-up and the occasional fist or elbow bump as mask-wearing substitutes, dispersed in the stands to keep them apart, applauded from the sidelines.The league’s strict health and safety rules had already claimed their first victims, with Augsburg coach Heiko Herrlich and Union’s Urs Fischer having been banned from the bench after they left the seven-day pre-match mandatory squad isolation.While Dortmund’s comfortable victory cranked up the pressure on leaders Bayern, third-placed RB Leipzig suffered a major setback in their title challenge when they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Freiburg.Leipzig, who used airplane stairs in the stadium to keep their substitutes in the stands and at a safe distance from the bench, are now on 51 points, four behind Bayern who visit lowly Union Berlin today.Hertha Berlin coach Bruno Labbadia enjoyed a winning debut as his side enjoyed a 3-0 victory at Hoffenheim that moved them further away from the relegation zone and into 11th place.VfL Wolfsburg reignited their hopes of Europa League football next season with a 2-1 win at Augsburg courtesy of Daniel Ginczek’s stoppage-time winner that moved them up to sixth on 39.Fans across the country followed police orders to stay away from the stadiums, including at the Ruhr derby, as the league tries to finish the season for contractual reasons by June 30.With a poll for German state broadcaster ARD showing 56% of Germans consider the restart at this stage to be wrong, the league will aim to complete the last eight Bundesliga match-days with as few problems and controversies as possible.last_img read more

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first_imgTiger Woods started slow but finished in a big way on his front nine in Round 3 on Saturday.After starting the day with six straight pars, Woods birdied six, seven and eight to move to 8 under and one shot back of leaders Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele and Webb Simpson at 9 under. Masters 2019: Tiger Woods almost taken out by sliding security guard at Augusta Woods is trying to win his first major championship in more than a decade and the 15th of his career this weekend.If he were to take home the green jacket Woods would be the second oldest winner in Masters history behind Jack Nicklaus who won the event at 46 years, 2 months, 23 days in 1986 and ahead of Ben Crenshaw who won it at 43 years, 2 months, 29 days in 1995.Woods is currently 43 years, 3 months, 15 days old. Other than that little missed putt though, Tiger has been very steady throughout the day as he hasn’t been frazzled by the superb play of guys like Finau, who came within one shot of breaking the front nine record at Augusta National.Finau’s birdie putt at the ninth did not go in, but he still tied the course record for the front with a 6-under 30. He also scrambled nicely to save par at the ninth after an errant tee shot forced him to play a safe shot short of the green to set up a chip off the green.Dialed. In.Two straight birdies for @TigerWoods … pic.twitter.com/Y8shm8zSUs— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 13, 2019Woods actually had a putt to tie the lead on the eighth, but his eagle attempt slipped just past the hole on the left side. Related Newslast_img read more

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