Artificial Intelligence: Intel’s Venture Capital Arm invests $132 million in AI Start-ups

The money was invested across 11 start-ups in AI, automation, and chip design.

Intel Capital is the venture capital arm of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC). It frequently invests in start-ups to grow technology that it can use while competing with other companies in the fields of chip manufacturing, AI hardware, and software. The company revealed new investments in 11 AI start-ups aggregating $132 million. (SearchEnterpriseAI)

On track for a generous target in 2020

The 11 start-ups that received Intel’s funding are

  • Anodot – it uses machine learning to perform business monitoring
  • Astera Labs – fabless semiconductor company
  • Axonne – ethernet connectivity for automobiles
  • Hypersonix – autonomous analytics platform for the retail, restaurants, hospitality and e-commerce industries
  • KFBIO – smart pathological systems with additional capabilities and connectivity
  • Lilt – AI-powered language translation software and services
  • MemVerge – very large-sized pools of memory and data services
  • ProPlus Electronics* – electronic design automation
  • Retrace – machine learning applied to real-time digital data
  • Spectrum Materials* – material and gas provider for semiconductor fabricators
  • Xsight Labs. – chipset designs

The company will target investment of between $300 million and $500 million in 2020 start-ups specializing in AI, particularly intelligent edge devices and network transformation.

*[According to Reuters, these are Chinese start-ups in the semiconductor sector. These companies compete in fields typically dominated by American companies, and it appears that Intel funded them despite ongoing tensions between the US and China regarding chip manufacturing.]

In 2019, Intel’s venture arm invested $466 million in 36 new investments and 35 follow-on investments.

Since its inception in 1991, the cumulative amount it has invested is $12.9 billion in 1,582 companies.

Intel’s investment logic, and why it makes sense for the startups

The company’s investment in these disruptive technology start-ups built synergistic advantages with its own business of selling hardware for AI applications.

“For some of these startups that could lead to being acquired by Intel in the future, but either way, Intel investing in an AI startup is a huge endorsement of the startup itself, so it’s not an investor that anyone would want to turn away,” says Alan Pelz-Sharpe, founder of market advisory and research firm Deep Analysis.

“Intel Capital identifies and invests in disruptive startups that are working to improve the way we work and live,” said Wendell Brooks, Intel senior vice president and president of Intel Capital in a statement. “Each of our recent investments is pushing the boundaries in areas such as AI, data analytics, autonomous systems, and semiconductor innovation.”

Related Story: Intel Scoops Up Israeli Artificial Intelligence Firm for $2 Billion

Image credit: Flickr

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