Former Cablevision Systems executives Kristin and James Dolan are dipping their toes into venture capital waters, forming an investment fund aimed at providing capital to data, analytics and technology-based businesses in the media space.
Dolan Family Ventures is headed up by former Cablevision chief operating officer Kristin Dolan and her husband, former Cablevision CEO James Dolan.
Kristin Dolan, who has a deep background in the technology industry – she had served in several tech roles at Cablevision during her tenure with the company – is managing partner and founder of DFV. James Dolan will serve as an investor and strategic advisor to DFV. PJT Partners, an independent advisory-focused investment banking firm, provided advice, consulting and support services on the formation, financial and operation structure of DFV.
As COO of Cablevision, Kristin Dolan led all aspects of the company’s cable operations, overseeing thousands of employees, including the company’s entire customer and field service workforce. Among her other responsibilities, she oversaw Cablevision Media Sales, the company’s advertising sales division, which was widely recognized for its data strategy.
James Dolan, as CEO of Cablevision has been a technology buff over the years – he helped start Cablevision Media Sales and the company was one of the pioneers in high-speed data service and advanced advertising. Cablevision sold out to Altice USA in June in a deal valued at $17.8 billion.
In an interview, Kristin Dolan said that while tech start-ups can navigate the bits and bytes associated with the technical side of the business, translating that to the television industry is more difficult.
“I’m constantly amazed by how new media and digital companies for whatever reason struggle to get TV,” Kristin Dolan said in an interview. “Having worked on both sides of the table, to look at some of these investment opportunities and imagine what they can become relative to the businesses we’ve owned in the past and are still involved with, is pretty fun.”
She added that DFV will seek out companies that are in various stages of development, ranging from start-ups to more established entities. She declined to reveal the average size of investment or the amount of capital available to be invested, but added that DFV is casting a wide net.
“Anything that we choose to pursue will be well funded,” Dolan said.