April 15, 2019

How Verizon Ventures Fits Into Corporate Venture Capital’s Continuous Rise


CB Insights’ “2018 Global Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) Report” provided a data-driven look at global CVC activity, reporting that CVC deals and dollar activity reached historic highs. Yet again.

According to the report, CVC funding increased approximately 47 percent over 2017, while the number of deals increased 32 percent over the same period. Q1 and Q4 both saw a record of $14.1 billion in funding. These numbers are impressive on their own.  But in addition, CB Insights noted that CVCs are participating more in the overall global VC ecosystem than in the past five years, investing in 23 percent of all VC-backed deals during 2018, an increase of 3 percentage points over 2017.

The Rise of CVC is Fueled by Internet and Mobile Investments

The two highest areas of CVC investment? Internet and mobile. Internet deals backed by CVCs were up 36 percent, while mobile deals that included CVC participation increased by 18 percent. For Verizon Ventures, we’re at the intersection of this trend with 5G, a technology powering the future of both the internet and mobile. And, since the report does not dive into why CVCs had such a strong year, we thought we would help unpack that through our own example of 5G.

As the venture capital arm of a Fortune 20 company, Verizon Ventures brings resources that span the breadth of Verizon, providing value to entrepreneurs at an astonishing scale. While financial returns are important, the primary objectives for many CVCs are centered around the strategic benefits to both the entrepreneur and the LP. 

Strategic CVCs, such as Verizon Ventures, deliver tangible benefits to entrepreneurs and startups such as:

  • Seasoned business expertise in verticals
  • Access to technical resources
  • Opportunities for Proofs of Concept (POCs)
  • Go-to-market partnerships at scale

Verizon Ventures offers startups more than just an investment. It offers a fast track to innovation acceleration, exposure to business unit executives, practical insights from testing, and connection to the larger Verizon network.

How 5G comes into play

By being at the forefront of 5G network testing and deployment, Verizon is instrumental to ushering in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.  5G technology is not an incremental upgrade over 4G; its advanced characteristics, from tremendous bandwidth to low latency and low power consumption, will foster the emergence of truly transformational applications. The eight currencies of 5G, delineated here, were introduced by Verizon’s CEO, Hans Vestberg, in his keynote address at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show. 

Verizon Ventures further taps into the promise of 5G by investing in, and continuing to seek, startups that have developed technologies that enhance our 5G capabilities and rollout as well as those that are able to utilize the 5G network to unlock its potential.

With investments in The Void, an immersive VR entertainment company, Edgybees, a platform that enables high-speed collaborative AR experiences, and more, we’re finding ways to be at the forefront of this evolution. As such, we’re always looking for the best entrepreneurs pushing the boundaries on emerging communications technologies, like 5G.

For more on 5G, and Verizon’s Built on 5G Challenge, see here.


Tags: investing , Corporate Venture Capital , 5G , CVC , CB Insights