IBM has 18 business development executives dedicated to working with venture capitalists and their portfolio companies, says a report in CNET News.com . Under a program, started about three years ago, IBM actively courts VCs and the companies they invest in. "IBM is more dependent than ever on ensuring that we look outside of IBM for innovation," says Matt Doretti, managing venture development executive for IBM (Americas) in the report.
In a recent interview to Venture Intelligence, Shailendra Singh discussed some of the firm’s newer investments in the early stage segment including in the online payments space, the progress at a few existing portfolio companies and the active role the firm is playing in helping its portfolio companies scale and succeed in India and globally. Prior to joining the firm in 2006, Singh was a strategy consultant at Bain & Company in New York and before that, an entrepreneur in the digital media industry. Venture Intelligence: How does Sequoia go about identifying potential early stage investments in India? Is there anything different you are doing today than, say, a couple of years back? Shailendra Singh: There is a lot more focus on technology investing and early stage investing. In general, as you might remember a few years ago, we were doing primarily growth investing but in the past 18-odd months, we have had a very strong focus on early stage and that’s continuing. In terms