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.


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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.


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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.


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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!


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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.


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Should CVCs want more independence?

What does it mean for a corporate venturing unit to be independent? Is that a structural dimension or a cultural one?

What are the benefits of having more separation from the mothership, and can it so have drawbacks?

GCV senior reporter Kim Moore joins us to discuss these questions and more.

Be sure to like, share and subscribe to GVR, and above all, enjoy the show.


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

The collapse of FTX – where next for crypto?

We’ve got a big, ongoing story that’s been causing serious ripples across one of the fastest growing industries of the past few years.

FTX, the third-largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, which also has one of the largest corporate venture capital units in the crypto/Web3 sector, has filed for bankruptcy amid swirling allegations of pretty significant malfeasance.

GCV’s special features editor Rob Lavine is back on the pod to talk about the ripple effects of FTX’s collapse and the implications it has on the crypto world. This is a developing story so by the time this episode comes out, there are likely to have been additional revelations about the situation, so do keep up with our coverage on globalventuring.com.


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

The Next Wave: Which is a harder job to do: VC or CVC?

On this episode we’ll be listening to the latest in Global Corporate Venturing’s new live webinar series, The Next Wave, which deals with an interesting question which is sure to bring up some strong opinions, and that is, Which is a harder job to do: VC or CVC.

In this discussion, GCV’s Senior Editor, Maija Palmer, speaks to Lisa Suennen from Venture Valkyrie and Heriberto Diarte of Quantum Innovation Fund about the relative challenges between these two, ostensibly similar jobs.

They talk about everything from the implicit challenges of the roles, to how they are remunerated (whether carry is a good idea), what the best fund structures are, the time-consuming process of dealing with internal stakeholders, dealing with management change, reckoning with startups that are weary of CVCs and more.

The Next Wave is a monthly live webinar held on the second Wednesday of each month, and next month, on the 14th of December, it will be on Spacetech and how CVCs have a role to play in an industry whose ultimate aims include making the human species multiplanetary, and we’re getting some great names lined up so keep an eye out for updates to be sure to register online.


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Is antitrust a problem for US CVCs?

We’ve got GCV’s very own Kim Moore back with us to talk about the rising antitrust scrutiny in the US market and the implications it has for CVCs when they’re looking to invest, exit their investments or even consider the board seats they take.

For CVCs in the US, antitrust isn’t something that can just be dismissed as a hurdle for M&A people anymore, they will have to consider how it trickles down into the venture ecosystem they play in.

For more check out the article on GlobalVenturing.com.


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Vitor Mascarenhas Santos: EDP Ventures Brasil

Vitor Mascarenhas Santos is the head of EDP Ventures Brasil, the Brazil-based arm of energy utility EDP’s corporate venture capital unit.

With its Portuguese parent company already boasting a significant presence in Brazil, Mascarenhas talks about where EDP Ventures Brasil sees the biggest growth potential of the Brazilian energy sector, and how coming regulatory changes, such as deregulation of energy markets, will pave the way for new investment opportunities.

He also speaks about the differences between investing from EDP Ventures Brazil versus investing from the EDP Ventures Portugal, as well as the CVC’s ambitions across the LatAm region and its plans to evolve its strategy over time.


“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0