Rashmi Gopinath / November, 2017
What are the benefits of fundraising from a corporate VC?
Rashmi Gopinath, Partner at Microsoft Ventures explains three benefits of raising funding from a corporate venture capital firm.
I would list three benefits.
The first one is the value-add they get from a portfolio business development team that most Corporate VCs have. In Microsoft’s case we have that too, and post-investment, this team helps our portfolio companies to connect with the product team and connect with the commercial team at Microsoft. If a company want to figure how to work with Azure or how do I work with office or dynamics, it is very helpful to have a team and an account person dedicated to your startup that can help you navigate those different organizations and those different teams and connect with the right decisions maker and stakeholder to make that partnership happen or to get that product integration out to the market. Also, to connect the startup with the commercial team, so most of the startups come to us with a wish-list, I need to get into these ten accounts, or get into this market or into the new geography. It is very easy for us to make that happen because most of the times we are selling to those same customers and the same markets, and so connecting the startups with those commercial teams are helpful.
The second benefit is the access to the corp dev team and the business development team within the CVC. Corporate VCs like Cisco typically have the same team that covers investment as well as corp dev, so if startups are looking to first take the investment with the intent at some point to getting acquired by those corporations, it is great to work with corporate VCs because you are clearly on that path and on the radar with the corporate dev team as well.
The third benefit I would say is the brand association that you get of being associated with Microsoft, Intel, or Cisco. It increases your credibility in the market and helps you get more products to more customers out there. Those would be the three benefits.