Intel Capital invests in cloud, gaming and mobile companies
October 3, 2012 // 11:22 a.m.
Intel Capital, the chip giant's venture capital arm, has announced its latest round of funding, investing in ten companies across the world and in doing so providing a glimpse at the technologies and markets the company sees as important to its future growth.
First, cloud computing. Having gone from being a buzzword used to make internet-connected servers that you never own where third-party companies have full access to all your private data to an accepted term for the likes of Gaikai's remote-rendering gaming service, Intel is clearly predicting some serious growth in this region. Accordingly, it has sunk a wodge of change into cloud-based file storage and collaboration service Box - previously known as Box.net - and Bollywood video streaming service Hungama. For the enterprise market, the company has also provided funding to Tier 3, a US company specialising in infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS.)
Mobile is also looking like Intel's next big market - as if the launch of numerous ARM-targeted low-power Atom system-on-chip designs wasn't clue enough. Intel Capital's latest batch of funding includes Brazilian mobile payment specialist PagPop, US-based Bluetooth-powered proximity platform ToothTag creator NewAer, and Chinese mobile advertising company UUCun. It's the hardware companies that should be of most interest, however: money has been given to Jelli for software-defined radio technology and Nvidia partner FocalTech, a creator of digital signal processors for touch control and display driving - something almost certain to make it into Intel's next round of mobile-centric SoC designs.
Finally, Intel Capital threw some cash at the old standby of gaming: social game maker LIFO Interactive got a wodge, while 3D engine specialist Transmension got its own share of the loot.
It's always interesting to see the areas in which Intel is willing to spend money, and it often serves as a good indicator of markets it's planning to target in the future. A good example of this is Intel Capital's Ultrabook fund, announced shortly after the Ultrabook concept itself was unveiled, which provided $300 million in venture capital funds to companies willing to help produce technologies to improve the Ultrabook experience - including longer-life batteries and thinner components.
From this latest announcement, it looks like Intel is continuing its push into the mobile space with a nod to the cloud market too - an area in which upcoming 64-bit chip designs from ARM will be looking to compete with Intel's products.
Individual investment figures were not revealed, but Intel Capital states the overall investment fund as being around the $40 million mark.