May 3, 2022 - Economy

Home Depot joins the corporate venture capital wave

Illustration of a mailbox shaped like a house.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

The Home Depot has launched a $150 million venture capital arm, focused on customer experience and home improvement startups.

Why it matters: Corporates continue to grow in importance to the U.S. VC market. They were represented in 19.1% of all such deals in 2021, according to PitchBook, up from 11.3% in 2012.

Details: Home Depot Ventures will be led by Mike Locker, the retailer's VP of strategic business development, with a dedicated team already hired and in place. The company does have some VC investing history, including IoT platform Afero, freight tech startup Loadsmart and crowdsourced delivery company Roadie (acquired by UPS).

The bottom line: This feels a bit like joining a party after the keg is tapped, but Home Depot Ventures' relatively small size — its parent company generated over $16.4 billion in profit last year — should help it survive the impending corporate VC pullback.

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