26 – 100 in alphabetical order: Scott Darling, president, Dell Technologies Capital

It is an overstatement to call the $67bn merger of data storage company EMC into computer maker Dell an acquihire, but one result was that Scott Darling emerged as president of Dell Technologies Capital.

Since September 2016 when the merger officially closed, Darling has led Dell Technologies Capital, the corporate development and venture capital unit of Dell Technologies, a family of businesses with over $92bn of revenue consisting of Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal Software, RSA, SecureWorks, Virtustream and VMware.

Jim Lussier, managing director and head of corporate venturing unit Dell Ventures, had left to run his own advisory and venture capital firm, Coast Ridge Group, just ahead of computer maker Dell’s merger with EMC.

Under Lussier, Dell Ventures managed the $300m Strategic Innovation Venture Fund, investing in areas including storage, data centre technology, cloud computing, big data and analytics, security, mobile and the internet of things (IoT).

Under Darling, Dell Technologies Capital has increased the pace with “$100m per year investment in venture capital” and an expected $2bn in mergers and acquisitions of some venture-backed companies in its “aggressive” pursuit of technology.

The unit has most recently backed machine learning technology developer Sima.ai, flash storage technology provider Vast Data, enterprise communication software developer Orion Labs, log management software developer Humio and artificial intelligence software developer Noodle.ai.

Software architecture technology developer Lightbend, lidar technology developer Silc Technologies, IoT software developer FogHorn and application monitoring and testing platform developer HeadSpinwere also among its deals in early 2020.

The unit has reinvested in existing portfolio companies: machine intelligence technology developer Graphcore, cloud virtualisation software provider Datometry and network security technology producer CloudKnox Security.

In March this year, data centre interconnection technology provider Equinix completed the $335m purchase of bare-metal automation system developer Packet, enabling Dell to exit. Dell Technologies Capital had invested in the company’s $9.4m series A round in 2016.

Dell also exited cloud-networking software producer Big Switch Networks, which was acquired by peer Arista Networks two months earlier.

Before Dell, Darling was president of EMC corporate development and ventures from March 2012, having joined the company after a five-year stint at venture capital firm Frazier Technology Ventures.

His successes at EMC Ventures included ServiceNow’s BrightPoint (originally Vorstack) acquisition and shaping the Pivotal creation. Parent company EMC converted $400m of debt to equity as part of the Ford, General Electric and Microsoft-backed $653m series C round closed by Pivotal in May 2016. Last month, Pivotal raised $555m in its flotation with a market capitalisation of more than $3bn.

But his corporate venturing and technology roots stretch back further, having originally joined chip maker Intel, which primarily powered Dell’s personal computers, in 1990. Darling switched from marketing to Intel Capital in 2000 before leaving for Frazier in 2007.

Darling holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from University of California, Santa Cruz and an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

GCV Powerlist 2020 PDF