[Posted on October 11, 2007 - 5:27 PM]
Intel Capital has been one of the more successful corporate venture capital programs and has gained fame through many of its larger investments, such as the $218 million invested into VMware Inc. and the $600 million it bet on Clearwire Corp. However, the $6 billion fund also backs smaller, even six-figure deals in prerevenue startups, such as the recent seed investment in online invitation firm Punchbowl Software Inc.
Angela Biever, vice president of Intel and managing director of Intel Capital's consumer Internet investments, explains that the venture group will invest in companies at any stage. When it comes to consumer Internet startups, it's possible today to start a company so small that if an investor wants to get in on the deal, it must be prepared to play at an early stage. Also, many consumer Internet startups find themselves acquired before they get the opportunity to raise a Series B or an expansion round.
"If you're not in a deal early, you frequently don't get a chance to play," Biever says.
So Intel Capital is working its network to discover early-stage entrepreneurs, mostly in the consumer Internet space, but also those with technology Intel might find interesting or those with good teams. So far, Punchbowl and Pluggd are the only seed investments Intel Capital has made, but Biever says the firm will soon announce another one. Stay tuned. - Stacey Higginbotham