Cox Enterprises announced Wednesday it is launching a venture capital fund to partner with innovative and up-and-coming businesses.
Called Socium Ventures, the fund will offer investment opportunities ranging from $3 million to $25 million for Series A funding and beyond, according to a news release. Investment rounds such as Series A and B are when young companies that have progressed beyond the seed or angel funding stage seek additional funds for growth.
Atlanta-based Cox is among Georgia’s largest private employers. Cox said it intends to support the businesses Socium Ventures invests in through every stage of their development. Cox did not disclose the overall size of the venture fund.
The fund’s name references the Latin term for sharing and partnership, which Cox said represents how it plans to ally itself with startups, rather than act as a backseat investor.
“Socium Ventures is a new chapter in the way Cox approaches our investment strategy, but it’s built on the same principles that guide all our businesses,” Dallas Clement, Cox’s president and chief financial officer, said in the release. “Our goal is to create mutually beneficial partnerships that help these companies scale to their full potential.”
Cox is one of the nation’s largest family-controlled companies with annual revenue of more than $20 billion. Cox owns The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, operates broadband giant Cox Communications, automotive businesses including AutoTrader and has forged into new sectors like agriculture and clean technology. Cox joined Amazon and other companies as early investors in electric vehicle maker Rivian and owns about a 4% stake in the company, which plans a $5 billion factory east of Atlanta.
Socium Ventures will leverage Cox’s infrastructure, access to capital, institutional knowledge and network of industry leaders. Alex Taylor, chairman and CEO of Cox, said the fund’s goal will be finding “early-stage businesses that are solving big problems and leaving the world in a better place for the next generation.”
Andrew Davis, Cox’s senior vice president of strategy and investments, will lead Socium Ventures as its managing partner.
“Socium Ventures is a way for us to invest in new businesses beyond our current operations that have aspirations aligned with our own,” Davis said. “There are many companies with compelling ideas worth exploring, and Socium Ventures will be one of the ways we help scale these innovations to more people and industries.”