Macromedia has formed a venture unit to invest in Internet companies - including Spiderdance, iHarvest and Context Media.

Spiderdance has developed a software system that syncronizes Web games, polls and advertizing with TV broadcasts, as used by the WebRIOT show on MTV and mtv.com. iHarvest supplies software and services for collecting and organizing Web information on multiple devices, and Context Media develops management and syndication software for rich-media content.

The venture unit, called Macromedia Ventures, has been set up to invest in companies "defining the Web infrastructure and the rich-media, multi-device, broadband Internet".

Norm Meyrowitz, formerly president of Macromedia products, will serve as president of Macromedia Ventures. He said: "Our criteria for venture investment is similar to Macromedia's criteria for developing new products. We're looking for companies that have incredibly talented teams, great products, and most importantly, a clearly-defined customer base with a demand for what the company is developing."