Intel Corporation Capital Arm Funds 5 Chinese Smart Device Startups

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)’s capital arm has invested $28 million in five Chinese companies focused on new generation hardware and related technologies such as wearable and Internet of things devices and components, says a report from Reuters Pe Hub. Intel Capital has now invested $100 million after creating the China Smart Device Innovation Fund designed to develop an ecosystem of smart device hardware, software and components companies in China.

Companies that received funding

Intel’s Smart Device Innovation Center in Shenzhen is focused on ecosystem development. Companies that received an investment include EyeSmart Technology (developing iris-recognition technology), LeWa Technology (customizing the Android operating system for mobile devices), Shenzhen Fibocom Industrial Development (deals with communications modules for vehicles), Shanghai Ailiao Information Technology (developing communications technology for mobile gaming), and the smart watch company Guangdong Appscomm Digital Technology.

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According to Intel Capital President Arvind Sodhani, these investments are in the early stage, but the firms are already finding customers and shipping products. “We’re developing the ecosystem,” he said.

Third fund from Intel for Chinese companies

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) announced the Smart Device Fund in April, which is its third fund focused on Chinese companies following the $200 million Intel Capital Technology Fund in 2005 and the $500 million Intel Capital Technology Fund II created three years later to invest in cloud, big data, data center and other companies. According to Sodhani, the company will fully invest the smart device fund within three years, and expect to support few more companies next year with more capital.

Sodhani said that an ecosystem in China is developing with a large addressable market. Since 1998, Intel Capital has funded over 120 Chinese firms, investing more than $700 million and achieving 30 exits.

Indian division reverts back to deep technology

Separately, the Indian division of Intel Capital has decided to shift its focus back on the deep technology sectors such as the internet of platforms, gesture technology, cloud computing and wearables, as well as various other e-commerce ventures in India.

Pradeep Tagare, director of Intel Capital India, said that the firm decided to shift the focus six-eight months ago. In June of ast year, the company created a $100 million global fund to finance perceptual computing projects using gestures and image recognition to interact with computers.

“We are taking a step back from internet companies. We have a fair exposure in the internet space, and lots of capital is going into it,” said Tagare