The early-stage venture capital firm Stormbreaker Ventures has announced new partnerships with strategic investors Thermo Companies and Mi Capital. Presented with numerous investment opportunities, both companies chose to invest in Stormbreaker over several alternatives.
Stormbreaker invested in innovation for the connected ecosystem, which includes mobility and wireless technologies, consumer and industrial IoT, networking, cloud and edge computing, cybersecurity, private networks, SIM technology, and supporting AI and ML applications. Its team of operators boasts more than 150 years of aggregate experience in this sector, which is poised for significant growth. With over a dozen unicorn investments, more than 40 active portfolio companies, and over $500 million follow-on capital from top-tier venture funds, Stormbreaker is driving the future of the connected ecosystem.
As the firm’s founder and Managing Partner, Said Mia explains, “More than ever mobile carriers and other key infrastructure players in the space, require new innovation to propel the entire ecosystem forward, and we are laser-focused on advancing the industry.”
With this mission in mind, Stormbreaker onboarded technology and telecommunications expert Glenn Lurie as a partner in 2021.
Introducing Partner Glenn Lurie
Lurie is the former president and CEO of Synchronoss Technologies and former president and CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Operations. He has guided many start-ups to success in the telecoms world, helping businesses achieve long-term growth while building thriving workplace cultures. Many know Lurie for his “Three Ps” philosophy, which drives the culture of individuals and businesses to prioritize People, Purpose, and Passion everyday!
Lurie explains that big tech and deep tech have overshadowed the innovation that supports the connected ecosystem, even though these technologies integrate with virtually all aspects of our day-to-day lives.
“This sector is a highly interdependent ecosystem. You need to know who and what you’re dealing with to create actual value for start-ups,” Lurie says. “As a result of Stormbreaker’s focus, collective experience, and relationships, deal flow is not just strong but absolutely proprietary.”
Strategic Investor Thermo Companies
Thermo Companies has developed a reputation for offering impressive leadership across various industries, spanning from mobility and infrastructure to real estate and energy. Thermo has made a variety of moves that demonstrate its high-level expertise in wireless spectrum, wireless state-of-the-art technologies, and telecom infrastructure.
Since investing in the low earth orbit satellite service provider Globalstar (the company’s biggest investment so far), Thermo has made several internal venture investments. In 2023, the company sold the fiber network provider FiberLight — worth around $1 billion, including debt — to Morrison & Co’s consortium.
Thermo establishes partnerships that will support transformation and innovation in the mobility industry. It is worth noting that Stormbreaker is the only venture firm that the company has partnered with. Kyle Pickens, partner at Thermo, explains that the company decided to form this partnership to leverage Stormbreaker’s “unparalleled wireless, mobility, and connectivity expertise.”
Strategic Investor Mi Capital
Mi Capital is the investment arm of Michels Corporation, North America’s leading energy and infrastructure contractor. The Michels Family of Companies provides safe, reliable solutions for the world’s ever-changing energy and infrastructure needs.
Mi Capital benefits from Stormbreaker’s unrivaled expertise in choosing and supporting investments, especially in the mobile connectivity space. Rob Haugen of Mi Capital says Stormbreaker has “proven to be an excellent steward of capital.”
Neither Thermo Companies nor Mi Capital are fund investors, so Stormbreaker represents an exception for both partners.
Glenn Lurie’s Predictions for Venture Capital Investments in 2024
Stormbreaker partners predict that venture capital investments will continue to see a downturn in 2024. However, there may be exceptions to this in certain sectors, with opportunities for early-stage investors arising. These sectors include mobility, wireless, and connected ecosystem technologies. Ernst & Young Global Limited (EY) has backed this projection.
Lurie emphasizes that many areas in the “mobility sector are ripe for reinvention and investment.” These areas include cloud technologies, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), fifth-generation wireless (5G), machine learning (ML), and fixed wireless access (FWA).
“This presents a golden opportunity to get into mobility and wireless VC investments alongside experts in the field — now,” Lurie says.
About Glenn Lurie, Multi-time President and CEO
Lurie has held various leadership positions in the technology, media, and telecom (TMT) sector. In these positions, he has helped bring about several industry developments. He has:
- Played an influential role in the launch of the first iPhone, which revolutionized the mobile world.
- Served as the president of AT&T’s Emerging Enterprises and Partnerships Organization and Emerging Devices Organization, which is now the Internet of Things Organization.
- Served as the president and CEO of Synchronoss Technologies.
During his extensive career, Lurie has become a master of negotiation, strategic business planning, and identifying trends ahead of the curve. Today, he excels in the venture capital arena, identifying investment opportunities and providing Stormbreaker’s portfolio companies with strategic counsel.
He also serves on several boards of directors for companies in the TMT world. These companies include Blue Link Wireless, Pivotal Commware, Teal Communications, and Avis Budget Group.
Learn more about Glenn Lurie.
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