Deutsche Telekom has made a statement of intent in venture capital by hiring a well-known dealmaker, Jack Young. We caught up with Young to discuss the group’s plans to adopt a third party fund structure, its investment mandate and strategy.
Yesterday Global Corporate Venturing revealed Young, who led Qualcomm Ventures’ investment in Fitbit, has joined Deutsche Telekom’s recently formed Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners (DTCP). Young is pictured speaking centre at our Global Corporate Venturing Symposium in London last year.
Global Corporate Venturing named Young number two on our Rising Stars list published in January. Young had recently been promoted to head North America at Qualcomm Ventures, stepping up from head of the Qualcomm Life Fund.
DTCP has a structure like solely corporate-backed venture capital firms, GV, which has Google as its sole limited partner (LP) and Sapphire Ventures, which has Germany-based technology firm SAP as its sole investor. Young said: “This allows us to be closer to the venture decision making process and follow it with the necessary speed. It enables the group to operate more freely and achieve better results. We combine the agility of an autonomous investment company with the strength of a large corporation.”
He said: “We are very financially driven, meaningfully looking for returns. This is closer to the traditional venture structure than a normal corporate VC.”
For years, Deutsche Telekom had run its corporate venturing via T-Ventures, which invested on behalf of T-Mobile. Young said the change away from T-Venture to DTCP reflected a development of how Deutsche Telekom approaches Venture investing – with a clear mandate between financial return and strategic relevance. He said: “The group has multiple assets under management including private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC). The VC group is covering US, Israel and Europe.”
Young added the venture capital fund is looking at early stage companies with €1m in revenue or late stage companies in €10s of millions in revenues.
Young said: “We have a broader investment horizon, looking at enterprise software, cyber-security, IoT and related internet infrastructure in general with technology heavy companies.” He added other key areas were connected devices, privacy and data integrity, big data and distributed computing. Young said: “We will continue to expand on these looking at traditional TMT venture investments up and down the ecosystem.”
He said DTCP was the lead investor in the Series B round in Replay Technologies which was recently sold to Intel. The company provides 3D image reconstruction technology.
Young is proud of his track record at Qualcomm Ventures. He said: “From the Qualcomm Life Fund, we had one of the biggest exits for Qualcomm Ventures in the last 10 years. While our DRX Capital in partnership with Novartis had accolades from the GCV Symposium.”