Home improvement products manufacturer Masco Corp. announced Feb. 16 the creation of $50 million venture capital fund.
Masco Ventures, a subsidiary of the publicly traded Masco, will invest in future technologies in its sector, including products and services that improve water management, create a connected home, enhance customer service and find ways improve customer relationships, the company said in a new release.
Several local companies have created venture funds in recent years, including GM Ventures and Lear Ventures, to allow them to fund innovative startups without acquiring and incorporating them into the fold of the larger organization.
Masco Ventures plans to invest $500,000 to $5 million in early- and growth-stage firms that can benefit from Masco's large distribution channels.
"Innovation has been the hallmark of Masco since our founder, Alex Manoogian, introduced the single-handle faucet in 1954," Masco CEO Keith Allman said in the release. "We believe that this fund will allow us to continue our history of innovation and support our long-term growth strategy. Our investment underscores our commitment to enhance the way consumers all over the world experience and enjoy their living spaces."
The venture fund will be managed by Philadelphia-based Touchdown Ventures, which manages the VC portfolios for corporations including Kellogg Co., Aramark, 20th Century Fox and many others.
The COVID-19 pandemic helped boost Livonia, Mich.-based Masco's business in 2020 thanks to more people spending more time at home, focusing on home improvement projects. The company reported a 7 percent sales increase on the year to $7.2 billion and profits increase of 19 percent to $1.3 billion as the company pared off its commercial construction business in recent years, including the $1 billion sale of its cabinet business in 2019.
Masco's product line includes extrusion and profiles within its Mercury Plastics business, a supplier to the plumbing, electrical and home appliance businesses.