Brian Walsh: Wind Ventures

What does it mean to grant “unfair” access to a region? That’s what Wind Ventures, the venture capital arm of Chilean energy company Copec, wants to do for its portfolio companies wanting exposure to the Latin American market. With a wide remit that primarily straddles energy and mobility, Wind has been bullish on the energy transition and EV charging, among a number of other focus areas including logistics and retail experience.

Brian Walsh, head of Wind Ventures, came on the Global Venturing Review to talk about, among other things, what it’s like to invest globally on behalf of a Latin American corporate and integrate portfolio companies into the regional market, how Wind’s venture investment side collaborates and balances the venture building side, and where to draw the line between a venture play and an infrastructure play in the context of EV charging.

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Brian Schettler: HorizonX

Spinning a fund out of the corporate parent’s umbrella can be a tricky process. If done right, though, you can end up with a situation where you can enjoy both the benefits of being your own outfit and the advantages of close operational links with a big name corporate. You can have your cake and eat it too. This is where AEI HorizonX, the venture firm spun out of aerospace and defence company Boeing, finds itself.

Brian Schettler, head of HorizonX, joins GVR to talk about the aerospace and defence sectors, how, on top of being beneficial for a host of reasons such as increased capital and compensation, the spin out was also driven by internal crises within Boeing. He detailed the value of maintaining close connections after spinning out, how having external LPs affect the fund and how still having a dedicated implementation team inside Boeing boosts its entire portfolio.

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Investing in defence tech

There has never been a more crucial time to invest in technologies related to defence and security. War in Ukraine and growing geopolitical tensions between the US and China are bringing a new focus to an area that used to be taboo for investors. Global Corporate Venturing editor Maija Palmer talks to Ryan Lewis, partner at SRI Ventures and Tom Park, partner at BDC Deep Tech Fund, about why they are setting up the GCV Defense Council Advisory Board to foster collaboration between corporate investors looking to invest in this area.

Ryan Lewis, Partner- SRI,

Thomas Park, Partner, lead- BDC Deep Tech Fund,

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Paul Asel: NGP Capital

The world is changing, along with the way we look at it and experience it – this includes a merging of the physical world and the virtual one. This “great convergence” forms the basis of the newly unveiled thesis of NGP Capital, the venture firm backed by Nokia.

Paul Asel, co-founder of NGP Capital came on the Global Venturing Review podcast to talk about the lessons learned from the firm’s recently concluded 15-year second fund and the future of the market. He explores how those lessons – which include the importance of balancing financial and strategic objectives, the important of broad engagements, the value of non-linear opportunities and adapting to changing markets – are being applied to their new fifth fund, which operates under the new thesis.

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Andrew Chang: United Airlines Ventures

Air travel is a notoriously hard to decarbonise sector. Next to heavy industry, aviation is the poster child for widespread carbon emissions.

For United Airlines, 98% of company-wide emissions come from jet fuel, presenting a huge, but easily identifiable, problem. The airline’s venturing arm, United Airlines Ventures, has already been investing heavily in sustainable aviation fuel (or SAF for short), and has now launched a new fund focused on exactly that. Currently capitalised to the tune of $100m, the new fund is called the United Airlines Ventures Sustainable Flight Fund, and counts on some corporate heavy hitters, including Air Canada, Boeing, JPMorgan Chase, Honeywell and GE as limited partners.

Andrew Chang, head of United Airlines Ventures, joined the show to talk about the new fund, what it’s like to go from a single LP to multiple LPs, and how SAF can impact the aviation industry.

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Andrew Ferguson: Databricks Ventures

If it hasn’t already been clear for at least the past decade, there is certainly no doubt of it today: data runs the world.

It is embedded into every facet of life, informing us, informing the systems that inform us, informing countless other actors – both public and private – about us. There are gargantuan mountains of data out there waiting to be sorted, analysed and put into action, but how do you best organise all that data – especially if you’re a business – in a way that can make it as useful and impactful as possible? That is what Databricks does, and that’s what its CVC arm, Databricks Ventures, helps startups to do.

On today’s episode I speak to Andrew Ferguson, vice president for corporate development and ventures at Databricks, about how the firm doesn’t lead rounds or take board seats, how AI and machine learning are game-changers in the data game, how portfolio companies integrate with the parent company, how competitive the landscape is in such a hot market, the challenges in assessing how future-proofed companies are in the space, and more.

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Last Year in Data

I’m joined by GCV’s Kaloyan Andonov, an analyst and reporter who also happens to be a resident data guru, and has put together an extensive collection of data points and graphs, which you can find on the Global Venturing website, looking at how the CVC sector fared in 2022.

It looks at questions like how did CVC activity change in relation to wider VC activity? At what stage have they been investing? Have any geographies made big moves? What sectors received the most investment? By looking at the data story for last year, we get a bit of a picture of where we might be headed this year, and what corporate venturers may need out for.

Be sure to like, share and subscribe to GVR, which you can catch on any platform of your choice, and above all, enjoy the show.

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Dan Ateya: RTX Ventures

Happy New Year!

For our first episode of 2023, one thing is clear – defence is not a business like any other, for obvious reasons. While defence technology will ideally have dual-use or commercial applications in order to expand addressable markets, the reality is that the biggest end user will be a government. This brings up a host of unique challenges given the sensitivity and potential military use cases that these startups may be working on. Complex procurement processes, capital intensive development cycles, regulatory hurdles and potential security issues are just a few of the challenges that CVCs in the defence sector need to keep on top of.

RTX Ventures, the nearly-one-year-old venturing unit of US-based defence and aerospace company Raytheon Technologies, has built up an eight-strong portfolio since it launched in early 2022, and it is looking to expand on that record during its second year. In today’s episode, unit chief Dan Ateya came on the show to discuss RTX Ventures’ portfolio, its ambitions, how they navigate the unique challenges in the sector and what technologies are going to define the future of national security.

Be sure to like, share and subscribe to GVR on your platform of choice, and above all, enjoy the show.

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The Next Wave: Investing Beyond Earth – Spacetech

It is our last episode of GVR for the year!

To close out 2022, we’re bringing you a recording of a conversation on one of the most interesting subjects in corporate venturing: Space.

In the latest episode of GCV’s live webinar series, called The Next Wave, we had an incredible panel of startups and investors in space technology, moderated by yours truly and covering topics such as the new economics of space flight, what CVCs bring to the table for space startups, navigating the murky legal and regulatory framework for space activity, the prospects of new industries getting involved in space. the challenges in convincing investment committees that investing in space is a strong proposition, and more.

The panel was made up of two CVC investors, namely:

  • Roee Furman of Doral Energy-Tech Ventures
  • Timur Davis of Munich Re Ventures

As well as the CEOs of their respective portfolio companies:

  • Jonathan Geifman of Helios – a company looking to mine the moon for oxygen and make the steel industry greener
  • Daniel Faber of Orbit Fab – a company looking to establish a network of gas station to service spacecraft beyond the atmosphere

It’s a great conversation and it was my pleasure to host it, and I’m sure you’ll find it very informative as well. You can find the video recording of the panel discussion here.

Be sure to like, share and subscribe to the Global Venturing Review, and be sure to register to upcoming episodes of The Next Wave, and above all, enjoy the show.

Thank you all for listening and supporting the show over the course of 2022 – there will be plenty more to look forward to as we head into the new year. Have a happy holiday season!

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Oil and Gas Investment

In all likelihood, you will be acutely aware of the energy crisis we are experiencing virtually all over the world. What you may be less aware of, though it’s been quite common in the news, is the pretty substantial increase in earnings that energy companies, particularly oil and gas companies, have been enjoying over the past couple of years.

But to what extent has that increase in profits translated to venture investments? The answer is not as straightforward as you may think.

On this episode I speak with Kaloyan Andonov, an analyst, reporter and general data whiz at GCV, whose recent article looks into how the trendlines in earnings and the trendlines in venture investment are matching up.

Don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to the global venturing review, and above all, enjoy the show.

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