The media company, Bloomberg, has just started an investment fund called Bloomberg Beta. The company (separate from Bloomberg Media) has set aside $75 million to invest in early-stage startups. Previously, Bloomberg had created an in-house incubator program, but Bloomberg Beta is separate from that program (and the incubator program no longer exists).
So far, Bloomberg Beta is backing a number of startups including Errplane, Newsle, MkII, ProsperWorks, and Codecademy. The company is also backing other projects, though the names of those startups hasn't been announced yet. Bloomberg is attempting to get in on the startup craze by investing, and the company is also looking for decent returns.
Not the First
Bloomberg Beta is making headlines today because of the size and prestige of this company. However, Bloomberg isn't the first company to look towards startups for future returns. Bloomberg joins Time Warner Investments, Conde Nast, and Hearst Interactive Media. Interestingly, most of Bloomberg's current investments are technology-based rather than media-based. Seemingly, the company isn't narrowing in on any one startup type.
So, what is Bloomberg Beta looking for when it comes to startups? The best companies in early startup phases. In a recent interview with a TechCrunch reporter, Bloomberg Beta head, Roy Bahat, stated that the newly formed Beta team will consider any startup that looks promising. Incidentally, Bahat is the chairman of Ouya (the gaming hardware startup) and formerly of IGN Entertainment.
An Incubator Too
Bloomberg Beta will also act as an incubator. The company is currently looking to develop startups within the fund. The overall idea here is to fund startups and develop them at the same time. Even though Bloomberg isn't the first media company to step into the startup ring, how Bloomberg will handle startups will be a sight to see. The company has the potential to compete with some of the biggest incubators and backers in the business.
How can you get in front of Bloomberg Beta? The woman to catch the attention of if you're on the East Coast is Karin Klein (head of East Coast investments). Or, you can try to capture the attention of Bahat. It won't be easy, though, now that Bloomberg is investing in startups, the line will be a long one. You can learn more about Bloomberg's new company by checking out Bloomber's main site, and then clicking on the Bloomberg Beta link.
Why So Much Interest?
It's a great time to be part of a startup. There are so many companies looking to catch the next big startup thing. Are there not enough great companies already operating? Sure; but companies like Bloomberg Beta want to get in on the ground floor. If you are looking to attract the attention of an investment company like Beta, make sure that all of your ducks are in a row - and that you have a great business plan lined up.
This way, when Bloomberg Beta comes calling, you will be all ready to jump. What do you think of Bloomberg's new Beta company? Is it better to work with a larger company like Bloomberg or to stick with a smaller investment company to work with? Let me know what you think below.