Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) announced yesterday that it has created a $200 million (US$) investment fund to assist companies that develop next-generation Internet products, markets and services based on Sun’s technology and platforms.
Sun will partner with venture capital firms and investment banks to identify companies for a minority position. Once it has selected a firm for investment, Sun will leverage its market access, industry network and technologies to promote the business.
Sun states that its overall objective is to use the fund to help companies capitalize upon the opportunities that are powering Internet growth. At the same time, the fund will encourage entrepreneurial enterprises to develop and utilize applications and systems based on Sun’s technology.
“We’re first to admit Sun doesn’t have a monopoly on innovations,” said Michael E. Lehman, Sun’s vice president of corporate resources and CFO. “Tying a financial commitment to Sun with our knowledge of the marketplace allows us to fuel a family of tomorrow’s Internet businesses, with Sun technology at the foundation.”
The fund, known as Sun Equity Investment Portfolio, will launch on December 1, 1999. Information will be available in mid-November at Sun Microsystems.
Former V.P. To Direct the Fund
Sun has appointed former vice president, general manager for development tools Jonathan Schwartz to head the fund. “This opens a world of new opportunities for next generation Internet businesses and the firms financing them,” said Schwartz.
“We intend to supply more than simple investment, by bringing to bear the experience and perspective that has put Sun in a leadership position on the Internet,” Schwartz added. “We’re looking forward to promoting the success of companies aligned with Sun’s vision and broadening our strategic portfolio.”
Schwartz, 34, joined Sun in 1996 and has held a variety of executive positions in Sun’s software business. He has also been involved in Sun’s acquisition activities. His most recent role was leading Sun’s developer tools efforts, which culminated in Sun’s acquisition of Forte Software, Inc. and NetBeans, Inc.
In his new role, Schwartz will report to Michael Lehman, a member of Sun’s executive committee and the company’s CFO.
About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Based in Palo Alto, California, Sun Microsystems, Inc. is a provider of computer hardware, software and services for Internet companies. The company produces $11.5 billion in annual revenues and has offices in 150 countries.