As a corporate venture firm (CVC), we invest in a multitude of early and late stage disruptive companies that we believe are advancing the connected society of today and the network that powers it. Our portfolio consists of everything from autonomous vehicle technology to real applications of artificial intelligence, and we are actively seeking out the technologies that can help strengthen and expand Verizon’s current capability set as well as frontier technology.
Due to our strategic approach, it comes as no surprise that our larger organization has taken interest in working with our portfolio companies in some way. Whether this be an integration of their platform across one of the Verizon business units or an agreement to enter in M&A to support a business units strategy.
Here are two examples of portfolio companies who’ve successfully integrated into the Verizon family further both LP and portfolio company growth:
We first invested in Skyward’s seed round in 2015 as the drone market was just emerging. At first glance, drones were primarily seen y primarily as photo-taking devices in the consumer market, but Skyward created a platform to serve various industries such as construction, energy and agriculture.
In 2017, Verizon’s IoT business unit acquired Skyward to accelerate Verizon’s IoT innovation. As Verizon began focusing its strategy on in-flight wireless connectivity, there was a clear synergy through Verizon Ventures portfolio company Skyward and the new focus for the IoT practice group. Read more about the acquisition here.
Glympse, a customer engagement platform that provides real-time location-sharing technology first engaged with us when we integrated its location sharing into Verizon’s messages in November 2013. As social media and text messages were becoming the norm, we saw an opportunity to enhance how consumers communicate with each other,easily sharing their location with friends, family and colleagues. We’ve continued to work with Glympse supporting their business and investing in their $12 million Series C round in 2014.
Most recently, in September 2018, furthering this investment and initial integration, Glympse integrated its technology with the Verizon Connect field service software platform in order to enhance its services with TruGreen’s professional lawn care company. TruGreen plans, delivers and executes customer routes, tracks customer jobs and monitors the safety of its drivers via the TruGreen mobile app. Glympse and Verizon Connect worked closely with the team at TruGreen to provide key information regarding the location, arrival time and job information for a particular work request or routine specialist visit. Read more about it here.
As corporate investors we continue to look for companies that are innovative, while thinking about the bigger long term picture of how they might incorporate with our larger organization. We are excited about the future for our portfolio companies and look forward to our continued partnership across the business units at Verizon.