Fault-tolerant systems manufacturer Tandem Computers Inc is branching out into the European venture capital field. The Cupertino, California company has appointed David Sims, joint founder and former head of venture capital outfit Simtech, to search out and invest in start-up computer companies that could eventually lead to Tandem increasing its share of the market. Already Sims, who has the title director of new ventures, Europe, has agreed terms with two European software houses, details of which will be released early next month, and he is looking at other investments. Sims says he is interested in both hardware – perhaps someone will invent a new terminal that boosts the performance of our machines – and software ventures, and will offer funds on a long-term basis in return for a minority stake in the targets. Tandem will be happy to invest alongside other venture capitalists.