Venture capital firm Comcast Ventures is being folded into Comcast’s business development division.
The unit will shift from investing broadly in companies to focusing solely on startups supporting Comcast initiatives, reports CNBC.
Ventures will continue to operate under Comcast’s chief business development officer, Sam Schwartz, a founding partner of the division who will now determine whether Ventures will focus on acquiring companies outright or making seed, venture or later-stage investments.
The repositioning will support Comcast’s streaming and broadband distribution businesses and “could help Comcast stay ahead of trends while being more disciplined on investments the company understands best,” notes CNBC.
“We are aligning our approach to venture investing more closely with our business units and repositioning Comcast Ventures and its fund under the strategic business development team at Comcast Cable,” a Ventures spokesperson confirmed. “Our business development teams across the company continue to invest in new technology and businesses, which we believe will yield more strategic opportunities and benefits for Comcast and the companies in which we invest. We will continue to support our existing portfolio companies through investment and strategic partnership.”
Comcast CFO Michael Cavanagh has been leading Ventures since the September retirement of Ventures’ head of funds Amy Banse. He and former CFO Michael Angelakis, who now runs the private investment firm Atairos with capital from Comcast, determined that Ventures would be most valuable as part of the business development unit, a source said.
Dave Zilberman, a veteran of Comcast Ventures who had been senior managing director overseeing its enterprise and infrastructure practice, announced last week that he was moving to Norwest Venture Partners as a general partner.