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Touchdown Ventures launches new corporate VC platform

Newly launched Touchdown Ventures is aiming to become the preeminent partner for corporations looking to establish, grow and manage their venture capital platforms.

The firm, founded by investment professionals from Comcast Ventures and DFJ Frontier, will initially partner with companies seeking to invest in education, human capital, digital media, entertainment, and retail-focused startups. Apollo Education Ventures, LLC, the newly formed venture capital platform of Apollo Education Group APOL, -0.12% is among the firm’s initial partners.

“US corporations have USD2 trillion on their balance sheets and are increasingly looking to put this capital to use by supporting new and innovative ventures,” says David Horowitz, CEO of Touchdown Ventures and former managing director of Comcast Ventures, the successful corporate venture arm of Comcast Corporation. “Corporations also have the distinct experience and resources to assist startups, while identifying new products and services for customers. Touchdown looks forward to partnering with these firms and helping them build successful track records in the venture capital space."

In the first nine months of the year, 160 corporations have invested more than USD3 billion in over 560 venture capital deals, representing 9.3% of total venture dollars invested and 17.7% of all venture deals, according to statistics published by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association.

In addition to Horowitz, Touchdown Ventures was founded by Scott Lenet and Richard Grant, successful investors with deep experience in every facet of the venture capital business. Grant was formerly an investor at Comcast Ventures and, prior to that, a key member of the strategy and business development teams at Comcast Corporation and Sony Pictures. Lenet is a co-founder and managing partner of DFJ Frontier, a Los Angeles-based venture capital fund that is a member of the DFJ Global Network. The firm's three co-founders collectively have over 30 years of venture capital experience, including funding over 75 companies.

Lenet, president of Touchdown Ventures, says: "We formed Touchdown to leverage our team's network and direct industry expertise in managing every aspect of a company’s venture capital investment program. We are uniquely skilled to collaborate with corporations and look forward to helping leading companies build successful venture programs and strong reputations as investors."

Grant, a managing director of the firm, says: “Touchdown works with corporations at every stage of their venture capital experience, including newly launched funds to established funds seeking assistance and specialist counsel. The firm customises its solutions for each partner and functions as an extension of the firm’s own team to provide seamless counsel and guidance.”

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