Dell Unveils $300M Strategic Innovation Venture Fund, Makes First Investment


Dell, Jim Lussier
Dell's Jim Lussier

Dell last week unveiled a new $300 million venture investment fund, and this week already unveiled an early recipient of its investment activities.

The new Strategic Innovation Venture Fund, which Dell Ventures unveiled at last week's Dell World conference, is targeted at helping Dell "identify, fund and fuel visionary entrepreneurs and technologies that anticipate and address future IT needs relevant to our customers at an early stage," wrote Jim Lussier, managing director of Dell Ventures, in a blog post.

The Strategic Innovation Venture Fund comes about a year and a half after Dell unveiled its $60 million Dell Fluid Data Storage Fund.

[Related: Dell Leads $51.6M Funding Of Flash Storage Array Startup Skyera]

The new venture fund also comes in the wake of Dell closing a nearly $25 billion deal to go private.

The Strategic Innovation Venture Fund builds on Dell's experience in funding storage companies and gives Dell the opportunity to invest in other emerging technologies including cloud computing, big data, next-generation data centers, security and mobility, Lussier wrote.

"These transformative technology areas are critical to Dell’s end to end solutions strategy. Staying at the forefront of innovation in these areas and making the right moves will bring enormous value to Dell and more importantly, to our customers. At Dell Ventures, our goal is to do just that, making good investments that generate compelling strategic and financial value," he wrote.

The new Strategic Innovation Venture Fund shows Dell's commitment to innovation, said Paul Clifford, president of Davenport Group, a St. Paul-based solution provider and long-time Dell partner.

"Dell is continuing to invest in technologies and innovation," Clifford said. "They're saying, 'We're not done. We're investing.'"

Dell appears to be going in the right direction when it comes to innovation, Clifford said.

"A few months ago, we were asking if Dell can execute on its vision," he said. "Well, they are. They have a lot of smart people who know what they are doing."

The Strategic Innovation Venture Fund has already made its first investment.

Invincea, a Fairfax, Va.-based developer of secure virtual container technology for malware threat detection, breach prevention and forensic threat intelligence, on Monday said Dell Ventures was one of two new investors in the company as part of a $16 million Series C funding round.

In addition to Invincea, Dell Ventures is an investor in San Jose, Calif.-based flash storage array startup Skyera and in Mountain View, Calif.-based OpenStack cloud developer Mirantis.

Previous Dell Ventures investments included server developer SeaMicro, acquired last year by AMD, and flash storage hardware and software developer Fusion-io.

PUBLISHED DEC. 17, 2013