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What we know about EMC Ventures, data storage giant's new investment arm

Posted by Scott Kirsner  April 13, 2011 03:23 PM

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VentureWire reported this morning that Hopkinton-based EMC Corp. had created a new venture investing arm in February called EMC Ventures. While EMC has made dozens of strategic investments the past in start-ups, primarily related to its core business of helping companies manage information, EMC Ventures will have broader interests, according to the VentureWire report.

VentureWire writes:

In February, EMC Corp. made a strategic investment in cloud-based billing company Aria Systems Inc. as part of a $20 million Series C round led by InterWest Partners. VentureSource has counted more than 80 strategic investments by EMC over the years, most of which are either out of business or acquired.

I asked EMC if I could talk with someone involved with EMC Ventures; they declined, but sent a statement that said, "EMC Ventures is a continuation and expansion of the investment approach we’ve successfully executed for many years. Beyond that, EMC does not publicly discuss investment-related matters or practices." As to whether EMC's investing activity has been picking up lately, or whether the company is devoting more capital to start-ups, they had no comment.

But EMC did tell me that Mark Lewis, EMC's chief strategy officer for its information infrastructure business, is overseeing EMC Ventures. The VentureWire article also mentioned Andrew Jenks as being part of the investment team. Jenks' LinkedIn profile doesn't yet mention his EMC Ventures affiliation (he seems to have been a partner at Stage One Ventures in the Bay Area), though his Twitter profile calls him an entrepreneur-in-residence at EMC Ventures. Here are Jenks' answers on Quora.

There's also no Web site (yet) for EMC Ventures.

Know more about what they're up to? Post a comment, if you would...

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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