High-profile, billion-dollar start-up sales like those of Instagram, Tumblr and Waze have drawn the attention of a wide range of investors, and now some of the world's largest companies want a piece of the action.
Since May, several major names, including Microsoft, General Electric and Bloomberg, have launched venture capital firms. They're trying to profit from start-ups' innovations as well as figure out how to hedge against being disrupted by those innovative technologies.
More than 750 companies worldwide had corporate VC as of last fall, according to a report from Global Corporate Venturing.
And corporate VCs are crucial to the venture industry. In the first quarter, corporate venture investors were involved in almost 17 percent of all deals, contributing 7.8 percent of all venture dollars, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association MoneyTree Report.