Sunday, August 21, 2005

VC -->Powell 2.0

Less than a month after General Colin Powell joined Kleiner Perkins, his son, former FCC chairman Michael Powell jumped into private equity, signing onto Providence. There has long been a revolving door between government and the investment industry. Providence Equity has about $9 billion under management and has invested in about 80 companies since its founding 15 years ago. Its portfolio includes such companies as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Freedom Communications, American Cellular (the parent of Cellular One), PanAmSat, and VoiceStream Wireless. Pegging technology to abide by regulations on everything from television signals to line-sharing is increasingly important for startups’ success. That’s how former FCC chiefs Reed Hundt and William Kennard landed at Benchmark Capital and the Carlyle Group, respectively. Watch out for Providence to make investments in later-stage companies in new communications technologies, companies such as Vonage.

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