The head of Citi Ventures on how, and why, to leverage corporate venture arms like his

At our recent Early Stage event, we had the opportunity to talk at length with Arvind Purushotham, the managing director and global head of Citi Ventures, about how startups should think about corporate venture arms, including what a check from an enterprise like Citi can mean, and how to leverage that kind of Goliath once it’s already a financial partner.

For founders trying to understand the benefits and potential pitfalls of working with a corporate venture arm versus a more traditional venture team, it’s very much worth zipping through this discussion.

Among the many topics addressed, Purushotham gave us insight into how corporates have altered the way they work in some cases, driven by necessity. The bottom line at Citi Ventures, he said, is that they’ve had to move faster in order to remain competitive. Still, owing to its internal systems already in place, involving risk and compliance teams and senior management, moving faster mostly hasn’t been a problem.

Said Purushotham: “We have not had to wait for a second close or we’ve not had to request the company to do a second close. We’ve been able to close along with the rest of the the syndicate.”

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