HP Launches Venture Unit to Invest in Startups

'HP can help startups bring product to market, build their business, and scale in the global marketplace,' said an HP exec.
Matthew HellerMay 10, 2016

HP Inc. on Tuesday officially launched a “corporate venture arm” to invest in startups with “cutting-edge technologies.”

The move by one of the two companies formed from the breakup of Hewlett-Packard Co. follows the template of other Silicon Valley giants including Intel. HP’s chief technology officer, Shane Wall, was formerly a director at Intel’s venture capital arm.

“The next technology revolution is shifting towards strategic markets that speak to HP’s strengths,” Wall said in a news release. “With our global brand and broad reach into consumer and commercial markets worldwide, HP can help startups bring product to market, build their business, and scale in the global marketplace as they grow.”

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The new HP Tech Ventures will pursue strategic investments and partnerships in disruptive technology areas including 3D transformation, immersive computing, hyper-mobility, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and smart machines. It began operating before the HP breakup was completed in November and has already made a few investments.

“What we have been focusing on is investments that help us accelerate a current business, or help us accelerate disruptions that are now in the lab,” Wall told The Wall Street Journal.

Intel’s venture capital arm has taken equity stakes in more than 1,400 companies since 1991. Like Intel, HP plans to invest with funds from its balance sheet rather than setting aside money in a traditional investment fund.

HP Inc. consists of Hewlett-Packard’s personal computer and printer operations while the separate Hewlett Packard Enterprise supplies infrastructure, software, and services to businesses.

The Tech Ventures teams in Palo Alto, Calif., and Tel Aviv, Israel, will be led by HP’s “chief disrupter” Andrew Bolwell, who will report to Wall.