Samsung Venture Investment Corporation (SVIC), Samsung’s investment arm, that actively invests in early stage start-ups, announced its maiden investments in India, totalling $8.5 million in four start-ups.
Samsung works closely with start-ups committed to building innovative technologies across the globe, and has over $2.2 billion in assets under management.
SVIC has invested in a system apps company OSLabs (Indus OS); a speech technology start-up Gnani.ai; an IoT solutions provider Silvan Innovation Labs; and an early stage computer vision start-up.
“The Indian start-up ecosystem has matured over the last few years with early stage companies working on top-of-the-line technology and services, especially in areas like Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Cloud and other emerging technology solutions as well as services,” Aloknath De, Corporate Vice President and CTO, Samsung R&D Institute Bengaluru told BusinessLine.
He added, “We began engaging with start-ups by supporting app developers, after which we forged deeper engagements with start-ups like InMobi and Haptik, among others.” He said, “We want to make 100 investments in the next three-five years with cheque sizes of $1-5 million per investment. We are also open to co-investing in start-ups along with other VCs.”
The four investments by SVIC are strategic in nature.
Samsung had recently partnered with OS Labs to launch the new Galaxy Store, powered by Indus App Bazaar, which brings app discovery and download experience to consumers in English and 12 local languages.
Similarly, Samsung’s investment in Gnani’s ASR engine has the potential to power Samsung’s Bixby vernacular service in future.
Focus on AI, IoT
With an installed base of over 6,000 homes and 12 live communities, Silvan’s products and IoT platform will add value to Samsung’s efforts to have all its products IoT-ready by 2020.
In 2018, Samsung invested over $15 billion in R&D through its 36 R&D centres globally and also announced it will invest $22 billion over the next three years in artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, automotive electronics components and biopharmaceuticals that will drive its future growth.
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