Investor Connect Podcast

Hello, this is Hall T. Martin with the Startup Funding Espresso -- your daily shot of startup funding and investing.

Corporate venture capital is an existing business utilizing venture funding to further the company’s strategic objectives.

The firm takes an equity stake in startups either through an internal fund or off the corporate balance sheet. 

Unlike traditional venture capital, corporate VCs look to gain a competitive advantage for the company and not a financial return.

The firm seeks to grow its business and uses an investment into a startup to gain knowledge of an emerging market, identify key players in the industry, and potentially use the results to grow sales. 

These initial investments often lead to a buyout of the startup.

The investment is a useful tool for diligencing a startup and influencing its direction.

There are some corporate VCs investing for a return on investment rather than strategic initiatives, but this is rare.

Most corporate VCs make investments with the goal of winning more business for their current product and services.

It’s a useful method for exploring new markets without committing substantial resources from the corporation.

Thank you for joining us for the Startup Funding Espresso where we help startups and investors connect for funding.

Let’s go startup something today.

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Music courtesy of Bensound

Direct download: What_is_Corporate_Venture_Capital.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

In this episode, Hall welcomes Gopi Rangan, Founding Partner at Sure Ventures.

Sure Ventures is a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm investing with a mission to enable peace of mind. The main areas of focus are pre-seed and seed-stage startups in the insurance, aging, care, mental health, wealth management, and related sectors.

Gopi created Sure Ventures after spending more than a decade learning and practicing the art of venture capital at Intel Corp. (formerly Altera Corp.) and at USAA. The mission of the new firm is to enable peace of mind for all individuals and businesses, to be a force for good. They work with visionary entrepreneurs who use advanced technologies to seize what he believes to be the greatest opportunities in finance and social development today.

In addition to founding Sure Ventures, Gopi is the host of the popular podcast The Sure Shot Entrepreneur. He is also a faculty in the Department of Entrepreneurship at the INSEAD Business School. As a subject matter expert on corporate innovation and corporate venture capital at management consulting organizations such as McKinsey and Co. and Bain & Co., he advised more than 20 global corporations on accessing innovation in the startup ecosystem. Previously, he was a Managing Director at USAA’s $350 million corporate venture program and a Director of Corporate Strategy at Intel Corp.’s business division fka Altera Corp. where he led the formation of a strategic investment program. Earlier in his career, Gopi spent several years in key positions in product development, technology research, intellectual property, and operations. He has co-authored more than 30 patents. 

Gopi has an M.B.A. from INSEAD, an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University, and a B.E. degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Coimbatore Institute of Technology in India. 

Some of Gopi's past and current investments include Adesto Technologies (IPO: NASDAQ: IOTS), BitFusion (acq. by VMWare), Coinbase (IPO NASDAQ: COIN), Coterie Insurance, Decent, Ebrisk (acq. by Intel Corp.), HiMarley, Joshin, MindMeld (acq. Cisco Systems), Pointy (acq. by Google), Rocket Dollar, Surround Insurance, and TrustLayer. 

Gopi explains in detail how he thinks the venture capital industry is evolving and he discusses why he does not have an investment thesis, but rather a “general focus”. 

You can listen to The Shot Entrepreneur podcast at, Follow Gopi Rangan at, and on Twitter at  

Gopi can be contacted via his website at

Music courtesy of Bensound.

Direct download: Gopi_Rangan_of_Sure_Ventures_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT