No more mystery about where Amy Banse will land in the new-look Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA). After five years of building the company’s digital entertainment presence, Banse will focus next on pure investment, heading a Bay Area-based equity fund for Comcast that combines the NBCU-GE Capital Peacock Equity Fund with Comcast Interactive Capital.
It’s not a complete shift for Banse, a lawyer who founded Comcast Interactive Media in 2005 and, with her team, acquired Fandango, Movies.com, The Daily Candy, Plaxo and thePlatfom as part of the build out. CIM established video portal Fancast, now known as FancastXfinity, the center of Comcast’s “TV Everywhere”operations. Comcast recently split up CIM in prep for the pending merger with NBCU (NYSE: GE), with FancastXfinity and the other parts related to the customer and television experience going to Comcast Cable. Matt Strauss heads the “new” CIM.
Banse continues to oversee Fandango and Daily Candy until they are combined with NBCU’s digtal properties. Unlike NBCU TV head Jeff Gaspin, who announced today that he will be leaving after the merger, the question for Banse was what role would she play, not would she stay. She will work for Comcast corporate, not Comcast NBCU, and is expected to report to CFO Michael Angelakis.
There is a little mystery left — the actual name of the fund, the amount it will invest and who else will be involved. My understanding is that Banse will spend the next couple of months working out the new mission, the amount of the fund and more. Banse will be based in the Bay Area but the fund will continue to have employees in various locations, including London, New York, and Philadelphia. It is currently led by Louis Toth, senior managing director.
Sam Schwartz, a founding partner of CIC, worked with Banse at CIM and led the acquisition process but is now president of Comcast Converged Products. The VC fund, founded in 1999, manages around $500 million and has more than two dozen investments in early and growth-stage tech, consumer and services companies. Its varied investments include sports blog network SB Nation, home security monitor iControl, mobile ad company JiWire, and Move Networks. It’s also a participant in the $250 million Social Web sFund launched last month by Kleiner Perkins.
The $250 million Peacock Equityfund has focused more on online advertising with some content investing. Current investments include BlogHer, HealthLine, Rubicon and Greystripe.
While I had the story independently, a nod to ATD for publishing first.