Ecosystem investors in the cusp of innovation – Patrick Eggen, Director, Qualcomm Ventures
Patrick Eggen is a director at Qualcomm Ventures and is based out of San Francisco. What stands out about Patrick is his passion for his work as an investor, which is similar in intensity to that of the entrepreneurs he invests in. In a conversation with YourStory, Patrick shares some insight on Qualcomm Ventures and opportunities for entrepreneurs across the globe.
Agnostic to theme, geography, stage
At Qualcomm Ventures, we have a progressive approach, coming as we do from Qualcomm, which has a market cap of $115 billion, cash flow of $1 billion per quarter, and is present as a chip in roughly one out of every two smart phones that go into the market. Our progressive approach is evident in being agnostic to theme, geography, and stage.
Theme agnostic: Our investments are driven to foster the ecosystem globally, and we invest to build the technology which will shape the future. Mobility and wireless being the cornerstone for any businesses globally, we see a huge potential to invest in this space.
Geography agnostic: We invest around the globe, and have offices in the US, India, China, UK, Israel, Korea, and Brazil.
Stage agnostic: We are agnostic towards the stage of the venture and invest from seed to growth capital.
Seed as an asset class
We have 12 years of investing behind us. We started in 2001, and have grown over time with discipline and a balanced approach. First 5 years, we made strategic and mostly Series B investments, but in the last 5 to 6 years we also started moving upstream with the emergence of seed as a relevant asset class.
We invest in best-of-breed early stage opportunities, and have a special seed programme for a south of a million dollar investments. Sometimes, these deals are done in less than 2 to 3 weeks when we have strong conviction around the category, information edge, and outstanding entrepreneurs. We are pretty nimble, and move fast, being completely cognizant of the need of a seed stage entrepreneur.
Series A and beyond
With investments north of a million dollars, we exercise a lot of rigour and process, spend more time and go through the classic approval processes. In all our investments, though, we are thesis-driven and back confident entrepreneurs - if we have conviction about a space, we are comfortable moving forward with imperfect information.
We do direct investments as opposed to indirect investments in ventures and have a high-touch model. We have feet on the street across multiple geographies, and it gives us exposure and access to international opportunities. The global presence also acts as an advantage for our portfolio companies, as we are hands-on available to help the companies scale globally. We constantly look for opportunities for capacity building of our portfolio through cross-pollination of businesses and expertise.
We thoroughly enjoy working very closely with our portfolio companies, be it by leveraging our mother-ship Qualcomm for engineering, hardware support, defining early roadmap, accesses to carriers and OEMs across the globe, helping with finance, and legal support.
Qualcomm Ventures gets great support from our top executives at Qualcomm, and our vision to investment is long-term. Unlike some corporate funds, our investments are not determined year on year. We have a very passionate and seasoned team. Nagraj Kashyap leads our global efforts, and is based out of San Diego; Karthee Madasamy in India is doing a good job of building the ecosystem. The collaborative environment, flat structure, and our common resolve as Qualcomm Ventures to build the global ecosystem and, in the process, support entrepreneurs who are driven, make us a compelling team. We enjoy working together and it shows in the way we leverage each other to create better capacities for our entrepreneurs.
What drives me is to be participating in the cusp of innovation that is happening, and to be enabling and pushing the innovation by supporting the best entrepreneurs. We define the post-PC era as a revolutionary phase where the boundaries of technology are blurring, and adjacent disconnected devices are now connected to each other end-to-end. This is a phase brimming with possibilities, and hence brings up so many sectors one can invest in and enable the growth.
Opportunities for entrepreneurs
Mobile-first businesses across categories – be it in crowdsourcing platforms, next gen sensors, wireless, applications, infrastructure, chipset technologies, or software.
With over 155 investments, one dozen IPOS, and 25 strategic trade sales, Qualcomm Ventures surely enjoys an evergreen fund status. But what makes this fund special is the motivation and commitment of people who are behind this global fund and passionately moving the needle of venture investing. Next time you are in Silicon Valley do make an appointment with Patrick Eggen.
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