Funds: NCR Corp. Preps VC Initiative –

WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. – NCR Corp., a 116-year-old data warehousing and merchant management solutions provider, in May launched its first venture capital fund expected to be between $50 million and $100 million, said Reid Watts, a general partner of the fund.

The company’s chief executive officer will finalize the exact size of the fund by the end of the second quarter, Watts said. “As a new fund, the investments we will be making will be ready for initial public offerings in three to five years,” Watts said, explaining why the current market conditions are not going to impact the size of the fund.

The vehicle will back seed- to early-stage companies in the U.S. and in Europe that are related to the parent company’s business of using technology-enabled solutions to capture and evaluate data to maximize customer acquisition, retention and profitability.

The fund will invest in ideas born inside the parent organization, funding each with as little as a couple hundred thousand dollars to as much as $1 million, as well as in entities outside the company. When engaged in investments outside the company, NCR expects to be a co-investor, with a venture capital firm in the lead position. To those deals, NCR will bring both capital and a deep knowledge of the markets in which NCR participates, Watts said.

At press time, the vehicle had backed one internal company, with external investments yet to be made, Watts said.

The new venture will be a subsidiary, organized as a partnership with the parent company, which will act as the sole limited partner for the vehicle. Watts is seeking to hire two investors with backgrounds in venture capital one based in the U.S. and the other possibly in London, he said.

NCR, founded in 1884 as the National Cash Register Co., has evolved into a business based in data warehousing, customer relations management, retail automation, and Web-based and non-Web-based kiosks.