June 3, 2009, 12:00 AM

Best Buy strikes up digital media investment fund with Fuse Capital

Best Buy has formed a strategic partnership with venture capital firm Fuse Capital to back investment in digital media companies specializing in music, video, games, and personal media management. Best Buy is the sole limited partner in the arrangement.

Best Buy Co. has formed a strategic partnership with venture capital firm Fuse Capital to back investment in digital media companies specializing in music, video, games, and personal media management. Best Buy is the sole limited partner in the arrangement. A limited partner does not play a management role in a fund and generally has less liability for losses than the general partner.

The fund aims to leverage the scope of Best Buy’s international presence to help drive growth and enhance performance of the portfolio companies, Fuse Capital says. The fund will focus on digital media investments as a complement to Best Buy’s current digital media and emerging technology investment activity. One such investment was Best Buy’s purchase of digital music service Napster Inc. last fall for $121 million.

The Best Buy partnership marks Fuse’s expansion into strategic equity management. Fuse, formerly known as Velocity Interactive Group, will focus its equity management initiative on partnering with global corporations that seek to enhance their digital initiatives, the company says.

The partnership fits into Best Buy’s growth strategy. “This partnership is another example of how we strive to be at the forefront of consumers’ entertainment and digital lives,” says Mike Vitelli, executive vice president of customer operating groups at Best Buy.

Best Buy is No. 10 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

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