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Why is Sky taking a collaborative approach to investing?

Peter Stojanovic

Sky's investment strategy incorporates working with co-investors to increase its access to talent but what steps are they taking to ensure a good working relationship?

We have already taken a look into the investment strategy BSkyB, the British telecoms company, has incorporated in order to stay in touch with new innovation.

It’s focus is making strategic investments into startups that are creating products to help progress their own services.

Making a profit would be an added bonus, of course.

However the team at Sky leading these investments is small, despite the wide scope they have to work with.

In order to address these shortcomings therefore, the telecoms firm is working with co-investors and discovering the opportunities they can provide.

“We see ourselves as wanting to work alongside leading VCs… for us to be effective and to find good fit startups we want to build relationships with VCs in USA and Europe.”

By bolstering those relationships early on, Sky hopes to help investors see what they can bring to their portfolios and garner a level of trust.

Emma Lloyd, Corporate Development Director at Sky, discusses the processes behind working with co-investors to gain access to talent.

“[Building trust] is a key part of our scouting process and we actually want to show through our actions, rather than by what we say, why we’re a good co-investor for those VCs.”

Actions do speak louder than words – especially within the investment world – but what actions is Sky undertaking to ensure credibility?

“…so not having strings attached to an investment that a corporate might secure, following the terms of the lead investor, being a good partner, masking introductions, using the products within the business..”

Again, Sky is thinking about the long game, the strategy, in regards to investments and potential startup talent.

Working with co-investors not only increases your credibility within the VC world, but it can bolster startup confidence in your company over a period of time.

Could this be the new operating model for giant businesses wanting to stay relevant?