Intel Capital, the global investment arm of Intel Corp., has invested $62 million in 16 tech companies, part of a $355 million investment in startups that the chip giant expects to make this year. For a 17th company, Ossia Inc., the venture arm has warrants for work done that allow it to invest in the future.
The amount is similar to what Intel Capital has invested for the last two years and reflects Intel’s drive to find and participate in new technology that can help the company sell more chips.
“The lower cost of computing is driving innovation, which disrupts industries and enables things that were previously not viable,” said Intel Capital President Arvind Sodhani at a presentation Tuesday.
This year’s investments span four themes–wearable devices, wireless, microprocessors, and big data and cloud infrastructure, categories that Mr. Sodhani said “will shape the future of the world.”
Founders include a 13-year-old middle school student, Shubham Banerjee, who created a Lego Braille printer after he asked his parents how blind people read and they told him to Google the answer; a semiconductor specialist, Sundari Mitra, who started her career as a design engineer at Intel in 1988; and a rocket scientist, Ernest Earon, who now specializes in drones.
One of the hottest investment areas for Intel this year has been data analytics. The falling cost of servers and the growing prominence of the open source Big Data software Hadoop, “is changing everything,” Mr. Sodhani said. “It’s impacted the ability of enterprises to analyze data [that] you don’t know what to do with but can’t manage. It has implications for networking and storage—it requires lots of storage. We’re very focused on it and are making lots of investments.”
Intel’s investments include:
Still in process is Thundersoft Software Technology Co. Ltd., which provides tools and services to speed product development for Android devices.
Write to Deborah Gage at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at@deborahgage
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