AUSTIN, TEX. — Dell may make the computers used at many startups and growth stage companies, and it’s looking to play a more concrete role in their development too, with the launch of a new venture capital fund worth some $300 million.
Dell Ventures, the strategic investments arm of the technology vendor, used the Dell World conference last week to launch the Strategic Innovation Venture Fund, targeting early-to-growth-stage companies in emerging technology areas including storage, cloud computing, big data, next-generation data centre, security and mobility.
It’s a lot more skin in the VC game for Dell, building on the $60 million Dell Fluid Data Storage Fund announced last year. Dell has already completed roadshows to connect with entrepreneurs and VCs in Silicon Valley, Boston and Israel and reviewed hundreds of companies. Several investments have already been made, and Dell is expanding the scope of its interest to look for solutions that can help customers keep pace with trends around virtualization, cloud computing, big data and mobility.
In announcing the new fund at Dell World, Dell CEO Michael Dell said Dell’s investment in a company won’t just be money; it will also include access to Dell’s expertise and business counsel, as well as its go to market engine and sales channels. Dell will seek to co-invest with venture capitalists and other strategic investors, and could also take the lead on some deals.
“As a company rooted in entrepreneurial spirit, Dell understands the power entrepreneurship has on innovation,” said Jim Lussier, managing director of Dell Ventures, in a statement. “Since we launched our storage venture capital fund last year, we have not only had positive returns on our investments and great deal flow, we have also identified companies and technologies that will help accelerate IT innovation, and more importantly, provide the best solutions for our customers. This substantial increase in our Dell Ventures fund and expansion of our technology focus beyond storage will bring the power of Dell to even more start-ups and entrepreneurs.”