Intel Capital, the global investment arm of global chip maker, announced $72 million in funding for the 12 newest startups to enter its portfolio, including three Chinese AI, cloud, and IoT focused firms.
The company said this at the Intel Capital Global Summit on Wednesday, where it told delegates it has made more than $115 million of technology investments in the year to date.
According to Intel, these new companies are developing innovations that could “shape the future of computer over the next decade”, and its early stage investments will put Intel at the front of the queue should their innovations promise to
One of the companies is developing an AI-based conversational computing tool for virtual assistants, while another is working on a context-aware app for entertainment venues.
“These innovative companies reflect Intel’s strategic focus as a data leader,” said Wendell Brooks, senior vice president and president of Intel Capital.
“They’re helping shape the future of artificial intelligence, the future of the cloud and the Internet of Things, and the future of silicon. These are critical areas of technology as the world becomes increasingly connected and smart.”
The investments are predominantly focused on artificial intelligence, cloud and IoT infrastructure, and the future of silicon.
California-based deep learning software firm Avaamo is an example of an AI company that has received funding. It is developing conversational interfacing technology for enterprises.
To make its investment portfolio global, Intel has also given funding to Chinese cloud computing firm Alauda. Headquartered in Beijing, it is developing a range of container-based software solutions.
As for silicon, Fremont, California-based Lyncean Technologies is another recipient of Intel funding.
The company claims to have developed a miniature synchrotron X-ray source, as well as a new high-volume manufacturing semiconductor lithography solution.
Brooks said Intel Capital’s latest cohort also includes some much larger investments. “Whether through access to Intel technology, introductions to our worldwide partners or added engineering resources, we’re focused on driving new levels of success for our entrepreneurs,” he explained.
Additionally, Intel Capital claims it has achieved a 2015 promise to invest $125 million in start-ups run by women and under-represented minorities.
“More than 10 per cent of our entire portfolio is now led by entrepreneurs from these communities, which we believe is an essential part of making the tech industry more inclusive for everyone’s benefit,” added Brooks.