‘India is a top priority for Dell’s venture arm’

Dell Technology’s venture arm, Dell Technologies Capital, has for several years been quietly investing in companies.
On Monday, it came out of stealth mode to disclose that it has invested in more than 70 early-stage startups and has got 27 exits so far, including in Nutanix that had an IPO in late 2016. The company said it is spending about $100 million annually on funding startups.
“At Dell Technologies Capital, we have a fundamental understanding of what promising young companies need to change the world,” said Michael Dell, chairman and chief executive of Dell Technologies. “We provide the resources, scale and expertise to help them continue innovating and maximise their potential.”
The ventures team, based out of Silicon Valley, has been focussing on emerging technology areas like software-defined networking, management and orchestration, security, machine learning/artificial intelligence, big data/analytics, cloud, internet of things (IoT) and DevOps. All of these are relevant to Dell family of businesses that now include Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, SecureWorks, Virtustream and VMware.
Elizabeth Gore, entrepreneur-in-residence at Dell, said that India is a top priority market for the venture arm. “The Indian government is an amazing partner for entrepreneurs. I try to understand the hurdles the entrepreneurs go through. We focus on different pillars, access to capital, mentorship, networks,” Gore told TOI.
The company also announced an artificial intelligence (AI)-based platform for women entrepreneurs, Alice. Alice is a virtual advisor that connects women entrepreneurs in real time with the resources needed to scale based on startup stage, location, industry, revenue and individual needs. As Alice gets more data, machine learning will allow her to predict founders’ needs to guide them to referrals, events, mentors and access points to capital and ecosystems.
After the US, India is our priority company to expand Alice, given the exponential increase in the number of entrepreneurs that are coming out of the country, Gore said.
Scott Darling, president, Dell Technologies Capital, said capital is merely table stakes to set a startup company on the path to success. “New companies are looking for active investment partners who provide breadth and depth of expertise and access to resources and scale,” he said. Dell Technologies Capital, he said, is comprised of a team of highly experienced investors with an extensive network of industry contacts to help portfolio companies achieve escape velocity.

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