Siemens Venture Capital, the corporate financing arm of Europe’s biggest engineering company, is launching a new, $100 million fund to back early-stage startups working in the areas of industrial automation and other digital technologies that can transform manufacturing. This comes after Siemens made two notable startup investments over past few months — in 3D visualization startup Lagoa, and CounterTack, the developer of next generation cyber security software.
Corporate venture capital has traditionally been considered “dumb money”, but as this TechCrunch post noted in November last year, some of them are increasingly looking more like traditional VCs. Indeed, in October 2013, 48 venture funding rounds valued at over $719M included CVC investor participation. This represented a 14% participation rate, the highest month in the CrunchBase dataset.
Engineering and manufacturing conglomerates such as Siemens and GE are increasingly looking at newer ways to leverage data and insights captured by their devices and machines. Combined with Internet and other digital technologies, this becomes what GE and several others describe as “the Industrial Internet.” As this NY Times story noted way back in November 2012, the lines dividing old-world engineering and...