Intel Capital, the Intel Corporation’s global investment and M&A arm, announced at the Intel Capital Global Summit on 4 November 2015 that it had committed to new investments totalling more than $22 million in 10 startup ventures across a range of industries. .
Commenting on this development in a release, Wendell Brooks, Intel corporate vice president and incoming president of Intel Capital stated: “With today’s announcement, we’re on track to invest more than $500 million in startups in 2015. Together with another robust group of exits, we’re poised for one of the organisation’s strongest years ever.”
In its 16th iteration this year, the annual Intel Capital Global Summit, based in San Diego, is advertised as a one of the venture capital industry’s premier networking event. Hosting more than 1000 founders, CEOs, innovators and other influencers and thought leaders, it is advertised as “two days of company building, networking, learning and inspiration”.
Intel Capital invests in a broad range of ventures across the hardware, software, and services spaces. These target segments like computing and smart devices, cloud, data center, security, the Internet of Things (IoT), wearable and robotic technologies and semiconductor manufacturing.
Since 1991, Intel Capital has invested nearly $11.6 billion in over 1400 companies across 57 countries. Since then, 213 portfolio firms have gone public on various exchanges worldwide, while 377 were acquired in corporate buyouts or participated in mergers.
Arvind Sodhani, Intel’s executive VP and outgoing president of Intel Capital, commented: “What sets Intel Capital apart is the way our global network drives innovation across the technology spectrum. As I prepare to retire after a 35-year career at Intel, I’m proud to say we’ve built Intel Capital into one of the largest, most successful and most influential venture investment groups on the planet.”
As part of Sodhani’s keynote, he presented the first-ever Intel Capital Entrepreneur of the Year Award to Kevin Reid and Rodney Rogers, co-founders of Virtustream, which provides cloud computing management software and infrastructure as a service to enterprises, governments and service providers.
This was in recognition of their ability to build a startup venture into a $1.2 billion exit in less than six years. According to Crunchbase, they raised $129.64 million, prior to their acquisition by EMC in May 2015.
Intel Capital investments
The new capital commitments by Intel Capital are distributed across five countries: the US, China, Israel, UK and Taiwan. Of the 10 startups, the three Asian startups have Microprogram Information (Taiwan), Perfant Technology (China), and Sckipio (Israel). This follows a broader pattern of investing in Greater China, with Intel announcing a $67 million investment across eight Chinese firms in September.
The latest Greater China investments are separate from these earlier investments. Microprogram Information is a Taichung-based IoT solutions and service provider for turnkey hardware and software solutions. It also provides back-end information management services for bicycle rentals, taxi fleets, mobile POS systems and others.
Meanwhile, Perfant Technology is a Beijing-based venture developing imaging and video technology for artificial intelligence, machine vision, 3D reconstruction and virtual reality.
The Israeli investment is Sckipio, which ships a commercial G.fast chipset for DSL modems, secured an investment on undisclosed financial terms. It was founded in 2012 to deliver broadband access over existing wires such as twisted pair copper wiring and coaxial wires, using the new ITU-T broadband access technology standard, G.fast. They new technology enables delivery of up to 2 Gbps broadband to homes over the copper wiring.
Another Israeli addition to the portfolio is Tel Aviv-based Parallel Machines, an early-stage venture focused on providing highly optimised environments for advancing predictive analytics and machine learning.
Founded in 2014 by an entrepreneurial team with backgrounds in distributed computing, system programming, machine learning and mathematical statistics, the company, which received venture financing from Intel Capital, maintains a strong US footprint with offices in Boston, California and Seattle.
Other ventures of note that Intel invested in are Ohio-based LISNR, which created Smart Tones, a solution that transmits digital sound files that convert speakers or media interfaces into a beacon, which is claimed to be more effective than existing solutions like Bluetooth. LISNR is the latest portfolio company to receive an investment from Intel Capital’s $125 million Diversity Fund.
Other ventures of note were New York-based Body Labs which collects, digitises and organises data and information related to human body shape, pose and motion; London-based Chargifi, which acts at an intelligent to enable access to charging points; and Colorado-based Prieto Battery, a 3-D advanced battery provider focused on commercialising a patented Lithium-ion battery technology whose shape can be customised.
In response to the latest wave of investments, Brooks noted: “As all of these exciting investments and new products show, Intel Capital is dedicated to seeking out disruptive innovation around the globe and helping the entrepreneurs behind it achieve new heights. Leveraging the power of Intel’s worldwide technology footprint is an advantage no other venture investor can offer at such scale.”