Today I had a meeting with someone who works at a Corporate VC firm, which invests capital from the balance sheet of the corporation.
Historically, I had thought corporate VC's are a bit disadvantaged, since it's very difficult for the professionals to be compensated in the same way as VCs with a typical GP/LP structure. Their compensation resembles business developement teams more than investment managers. I am generalizing as I am sure there are exceptions.
However, this particular firm I met with just approved the same investment budget for 2009 that they invested in 2008. This is very interesting at a time when many VC funds are haggling with their LPs and facing uncertain prospects. I am sure that the 2009 budget for this firm will have significantly higher purchasing power than the same amount they invested in 2008. This could be a huge advantage.
PS. There was also talk of Google formalizing its VC activity. I had not heard much about that lately…