Next TV: Venture Capitalists Get View Of Tech’s Cutting Edge

New York—While generating a healthy return is a key goal of any venture capital firm, execs with the VCs represented at the Next TV summit on Tuesday said they also seek investments that make strategic sense to their parent companies while also giving those parents a clearer view of potentially business-changing technologies that are out on the horizon.

“It’s important to be financially disciplined and look for companies that give us insight on how the industry is changing,” said Scott Levine, the managing partner for Time Warner Investments, a subsidiary of Time Warner that has invested in video-oriented companies such as Bluefin Labs (now part of Twitter), Maker Studios and Conviva, a startup whose technology brings quality of service to streaming video and counts HBO among its clients.

Comcast Ventures, which has invested in companies such as advanced advertising firm Black Arrow, Flipboard, Fullscreen and Vox Media, also tends to gravitate toward firms that specialize in the distribution and monetization—areas that are also important to the VC’s parent company, explained Sam Landman, principal at Comcast Ventures.

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