Global investor SparkLabs is adding another business line after it announced a new consultancy division that’s aimed at working with Fortune 500 companies and other global corporates keen to deepen their position in tech.
Best known for its funds — which cover global deals, a blockchain vehicle and a Korea-based fund — and more than half a dozen accelerator programs worldwide, the organization is responding to interest it has fielded from LPs, corporates and other businesses keen to tap into its network and insights, SparkLabs Group co-founder Jimmy Kim told TechCrunch.
“We’ll be providing research reports on certain key industries and doing key networking and introductions into startups of their interest,” he said in an interview. “Initially, there will be a handful of staff and then we’ll just scale from there.”
SparkLabs Foundry will be headquartered in San Francisco, but it will tap into the group’s global reach, including offices in markets like Singapore and Korea, and insight from a portfolio of more than 220 startups across its various activities.
Kim explained that, particularly for corporations based in Asia, simply opening an office in Silicon Valley doesn’t guarantee that they walk into the right networks for deal flow or gain key insight. That’s where SparkLabs is hoping to make a difference, and it expects that frontier tech, including machine learning, blockchain, security and AI, will be major focuses.
The new venture will be led by some familiar faces. Scott Sorochak, a long-time mentor with the firm, recently joined from Blarney Ventures, and his team includes chief business officer Jaeson Ma, who co-founded SparkLabs portfolio startup 88Rising. Its list of advisors includes names like Sid Anand, PayPal’s chief data engineer, former Procter & Gamble CTO Bruce Brown and smart oven startup Brava’s CEO Jon Pleasants.