Eastman Kodak is to expand its venture capital (VC) operations at a time when other corporate investors are backing away from funding startups.
The photography giant, which set up a VC branch in New York last October, said it will expand the Kodak Venture Group operation in Silicon Valley, which aims to invest in companies with technologies that can expand the info-imaging market which Kodak claims is a $225bn industry.
The new operation includes five employees from the Venture Group, as well as the company's developer relations team and members of its Systems Concept Center, which is part of Kodak's research and development organisation.
The company said that, along with investing in hi-tech startups, it would utilise its own internal research and manufacturing facilities to help expand its info-imaging business.
Ted Lewis, senior vice president and director of digital business development at Kodak, said the expansion of the Silicon Valley operation accelerates Kodak's ability to find and collaborate with innovative startups that are capitalising on the convergence of information technology and imaging.
The latest recipient of Kodak's Venture Group investment is YesVideo, a company that converts standard videotapes into DVDs and CDs. The $2.4m cash injection gives Kodak an equity stake and an observer seat on the privately held company's board.
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