Intel Capital sinks $67m into eight Chinese companies

Intel Capital has spread a $67 million investment across eight technology companies in China, which sees Intel's total spend on technology firms in the country come to almost $2 billion.

Intel Capital, the chip giant's global investment arm, has injected $67 million into eight Chinese technology companies.

The companies include 99cloud, Bluebank, Hampoo, Ninebot, Nuovo Film, PraFly, and AWcloud, which cover a range of industries including smart devices, robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud, big data, and data analytics. Intel Capital also signed an investment agreement with semiconductor design firm, Telink.

Arvind Sodhani, executive vice president of Intel and president of Intel Capital said the investment comes as the chip giant celebrates its 30th anniversary in China.

"Intel Capital plays a key role in Intel's engagement and collaboration with local Chinese startups and entrepreneurs, and has helped usher in the development of leading edge technologies and products," he said.

"These companies now have the opportunity to leverage Intel Capital's business development programs, global network, technology expertise and brand capital to support their development and drive innovation across exciting next-generation technology categories."

Intel Capital said the recent investments demonstrate its long-term commitment to fostering Chinese technology innovation and accelerating China's technology ecosystem development.

Since 1998, Intel Capital has invested over $1.9 billion in more than 140 technology companies in China, 35 of which have gone public, or have since been acquired.

As part of that investment, Intel Capital injected $28 million to several Chinese companies specialising in wearable devices, smartphones, and IoT technology in October last year, as part of its China Smart Device Innovation Fund. The tech giant said at the time that as the computing industry landscape undergoes rapid transformation, it will push forward in deepening ties in China, in order to encourage innovation and "reshape" the future of computing.

Intel Capital also invested $16 million in three e-commerce sites in Asia: Indian nutrition, health and wellness products distributor Bright Lifecare; consumer goods marketplace Snapdeal, which is also based in India; as well as Singapore's private luxury goods retailer Reebonz.

Five Asian companies were previously funded as part of Intel Capital's "innovative technology" investment in 2012; and in Taiwan, Intel Capital created a $100 million investment fund to accelerate the development of "human-like" sensing technology in devices across its architecture platform.

Last month, Intel Capital, alongside Lockheed Martin and DENSO International America, injected $17 million into Peloton Technology, which saw the truck automation company raise a total just short of $34 million.

In what was a busy month for Intel Capital, the firm also formed an alliance in August with OpenStack firm Mirantis, which included a $100 million funding round that saw investment by way of equity and cash from Goldman Sachs, August Capital, Insight Venture Partners, Ericsson, Sapphire Ventures, and WestSummit Capital.

Intel Capital led a $20 million funding round for California-based BlueData, which makes virtualization technology for big data deployments; and participated in a $43 million funding round for cloud monitoring company ScienceLogic, which was led by Goldman Sachs; and also led a $32 million funding round for Israel-based datacentre management firm Stratoscale, which was also backed by Cisco and SanDisk.

Previously, Intel Capital launched a $125 million fund for female-run startups in a bid to drive growth and career development for women and minorities in order to achieve "full representation" at every level by 2020.

The company also invested $62 million in a range of startups in October last year, which was split amongst 16 new technology companies.

In January next year, Intel Capital's president Arvind Sodhani will retire after a 35-year tenure with the company. His position will be taken over by Wendell Brooks, who will also keep his current position as president of mergers and acquisitions at Intel.

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