After Keedair's discovery of the Spice Melange on Arrakis, he sought out Venport, with whom he was acquainted. The two formed VenKee Enterprises, primarily as a vessel through which spice could be purchased, transported and traded within the League of Nobles. The company's name came from the fusion of the two founders' surnames.
The company's greatest profits came from melange and Glowglobes—invented by Venport's friend, Norma Cenva, while working for Poritrin; however Cenva offered the technology to Venport, creating thus a legal controversy about patents and distribution rights. Another problem had to do with Selim Wormrider's tribe on Arrakis, who sabotaged the harvesting and transportation of melange from the planet.
Twenty years later, a dispute arose between VenKee Enterprises and the Poritrin government over the now-popular devices. Lord Niko Bludd had filed briefs in the court of the League of Nobles demanding restitution of all VenKee profits gained from unauthorized use of proprietary technologies.
Venport personally tried to solve this dispute by offering 1/3 of his gains to Poritrin, provided that Norma would work for him.
After Venport's old friend (and later wife) Norma Cenva revealed her discovery of how space folding could be achieved, VenKee Enterprises invested significant resources into her research. Prototype construction begun on Poritrin, but it was suddenly suspended by order of Lord Niko Bludd, moved by Tio Holtzman, who saw Cenva antagonistically. The work relocated to Kolhar, but by that time, Tuk Keedair was presumed dead, actually stranded on Arrakis.
Cenva's theories were eventually proven successful in practice, despite the high risks in using the spacefolders. Because of the forceful appropriation of many VenKee vessels by the Army of the Jihad, Venport demanded that VenKee Enterprises and its successors be granted irrevocable patents on Cenva's technology, as proprietary treatment for this form of space travel. For his offer however, he was awarded the Manion Cross.
However, by the time VenKee Enterprises was seeing gain from the Spacefolder venture, its two founders were no longer in charge: Venport having died in an attack by cymeks; and Keedair having mysteriously vanished during the destruction on Poritrin. Management of VenKee Enterprises was taken over by Norma Cenva and Adrien, her eldest son with Aurelius.
The revelation that the Spice Melange could be used to fend off the Omnius Scourge virus ironically proved to be a disadvantage to VenKee Enterprises. On discovering the fortification powers of the spice, the League of Nobles quickly broke a previous promise they had made with the company and denied them exclusive rights to spice mining on Arrakis. Though they still made money from the mining operations, their interests were severely eroded by countless outside parties who descended on the planet in a spice rush.
Influence returned to VenKee Enterprises after Norma Cenva discovered how to harness the prescient power of the Spice Melange as a means of navigating folded space safely. Though they eventually lost their spice mining interests entirely, they maintained a stranglehold over faster than light travel, until an Imperial decree has lifted the company's monopoly on foldspace technology. Several other transport companies, including Celestial Transport, became VenKee's competitors, although they lacked the ability to create Navigators and thus had relatively high accident rates, which were somewhat reduced by the illegal use of navigational computers. Despite the competition, the company still prospered under Josef Venport's control. In order to consolidate the growing company's non-transportation investments, Josef created a subsidiary called Combined Mercantiles, which would later evolve into CHOAM. Foldspace Shipping Company, another subsidiary of VenKee, eventually evolved into the Guild.