Intel Capital announces $72 million of new investments in 12 tech startups at annual global summit

Via Intel Newsroom

May 9, 2018

  • Intel Capital Global Summit, the venture capital industry’s premier networking event, convenes nearly 1,000 startup entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and tech industry executives to help shape the future of technology.
  • The 12 startups joining Intel Capital’s portfolio are driving advancements in AI, cloud, IoT and silicon technologies.
  • Today’s funding news brings Intel Capital’s YTD investments to more than $115 million.
  • The NBA and Intel Capital also announced the “NBA + Intel Capital Emerging Technology Initiative,” a multiyear collaboration targeting technology disruption in the sports and entertainment industries.
  • Intel Capital has surpassed its goal of investing $125 million in diverse startups two and a half years ahead of schedule – and expanded the initiative well beyond its initial goals.

PALM DESERT, Calif., May 8, 2018: Intel Capital, Intel Corporation’s global investment organization, announced today at the Intel Capital Global Summit new investments totaling $72 million in 12 technology startups. With this new funding, Intel Capital’s year-to-date investments have reached more than $115 million.

The companies joining Intel Capital’s portfolio are driving innovations that will shape the future of compute over the next decade. Those include AI-based conversational computing to speed the design of virtual assistants; a context-aware app improving the way people experience stadiums, theme parks, hotels and hospitals; and new processors that bring the power of machine learning to mobile devices.

MORE: 2018 Intel Capital Global Forum (Press Kit) | Intel Capital and the NBA Announce Emerging Technology Initiative

“These innovative companies reflect Intel’s strategic focus as a data leader,” said Wendell Brooks, Intel senior vice president and president of Intel Capital. “They’re helping shape the future of artificial intelligence, the future of the cloud and the Internet of Things, and the future of silicon. These are critical areas of technology as the world becomes increasingly connected and smart.”

Brooks also noted that this latest group of investments reflects Intel Capital’s strategy to make larger investments in new portfolio companies. “Whether through access to Intel technology, introductions to our worldwide partners or added engineering resources, we’re focused on driving new levels of success for our entrepreneurs,” he said.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich addresses attendees during his keynote address at the Intel Capital Global Summit. In its 18th year, the 2018 Intel Capital Global Summit takes place May 8-10 in Palm Desert, California. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

Also at the 18th Intel Capital Global Summit, taking place this week in Palm Desert, California, the NBA* and Intel Capital announced a sports and entertainment technology innovation collaboration called the “NBA + Intel Capital Emerging Technology Initiative.” The multiyear collaboration will foster the identification, formation and growth of technology companies that have the potential to impact the future of the NBA, sports and entertainment. Brooks was joined onstage by NBA Commissioner Emeritus David Stern.

Brooks noted that, thanks to the digitization of sports and the explosion of data, “There’s been more disruption in this space over the last five years than in the 70 before that.” Even so, he said, innovation has only scratched the surface, with the rollout of 5G networking and improved AI poised to enable immersive, real-time experiences. “We’re excited to team with one of the world’s most forward-looking sports organizations to find new ways to improve the game experience for fans and athletes alike,” Brooks said.

Additionally, Intel Capital announced it has surpassed – two and a half years ahead of schedule – its 2015 goal to invest $125 million in startups run by women and underrepresented minorities. Today, the Intel Capital Diversity Initiative seeks out global companies founded and/or led by women and entrepreneurs living with disabilities, and U.S. companies founded and/or led by underrepresented minorities, members of the LGBTQ community and U.S. military veterans.

“More than 10 percent of our entire portfolio is now led by entrepreneurs from these communities, which we believe is an essential part of making the tech industry more inclusive for everyone’s benefit,” said Brooks. In addition, he noted, two-thirds of the dollars Intel Capital invested in diverse startups in 2017 were deployed outside the United States, reflecting Intel’s worldwide commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Also unveiled was a new “Champions of Change” strategy launched by 15 technology companies to advance gender equality by enabling women’s careers to thrive in the global tech industry. The strategy was announced at Intel Capital Global Summit by the Male Champions of Change Institute, accelerateHER, EQUALS* and Intel, a founding member of the Male Champions of Change Global Technology Group*. “Women are not advancing at the same rate as men in our industry,” said Brooks. “The old excuses simply don’t wash anymore.”

The Intel Capital Global Summit convenes nearly 1,000 entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders for three days of networking, company-building and inspiration. This year’s lineup of speakers includes Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO; Jon Lauckner, General Motors* CTO; Genevieve Bell, 3A Institute* director; Brian Rolapp, NFL* chief media and business officer; Cherie Blair, Commander of the British Empire and founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation; Amnon Shashua, Mobileye CEO; Dhani Jones, Qey Capital Partners* chairman and Hillman Accelerator* founder; and Michael Mayberry, Intel CTO and Intel Labs managing director.

More details on Intel Capital’s new investments in 12 innovative startups:

Future of Artificial Intelligence

Avaamo* (Los Altos, California, U.S.) is a deep learning software company that specializes in conversational interfaces to solve specific, high-impact problems in the enterprise. Avaamo is building fundamental AI technology across a broad area of neural networks, speech synthesis and deep learning to make conversational computing for the enterprise a reality.

Fictiv* (San Francisco, California, U.S.) is democratizing access to manufacturing, transforming how hardware teams design, develop and deliver physical products. Its virtual manufacturing platform pairs intelligent workflow and collaboration software with Fictiv’s global network of highly vetted manufacturers. From prototype to production, Fictiv helps hardware teams work efficiently and bring products to market faster.

Gamalon* (Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.) is leading the next wave in machine learning with an AI platform that teaches computers actual ideas. Gamalon’s Idea Learning technology provides accurate, editable and explainable processing of customer messages and other free-form data. Gamalon’s system learns faster, is easily extendable to specific domains, is completely auditable, and understands complexity and nuance. It can be used to structure free-form text such as surveys, chat transcripts, trouble tickets and more.

Reconova* (Xiamen, China) is a leading AI company providing cutting-edge visual perception solutions. Dedicated to the research of innovative computer vision and machine learning technologies, Reconova possesses a significant amount of core technologies in those fields. The company has achieved scale production and application across the smart retail, smart home and intelligent security segments.

Syntiant* (Irvine, California, U.S.) is an AI semiconductor company that is accelerating the transition of machine learning from the cloud to edge devices. The company’s neural decision processors merge deep learning with semiconductor design to produce highly efficient ultralow-power analog neural computation for always-on applications in battery-powered devices, including mobile phones, wearable devices, smart sensors and drones.

Future of Cloud and IoT

Alauda* (Beijing, China) is a container-based cloud services provider empowering enterprise IT with its enterprise platform-as-a-service offering and other strategic services. It delivers cloud-native capabilities and DevOps best practices to help enterprises modernize application architecture, maximize developer productivity and achieve operational excellence. Alauda serves organizations undergoing digital transformation across a number of industries, including financial services, manufacturing, aviation, energy and automotive.

CloudGenix* (San Jose, California, U.S.) is a software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) leader, transforming legacy hardware WANs into a software-based, application-defined fabric. Using CloudGenix software, customers deploy cloud, unified communications and data center applications to remote offices over broadband networks with high performance and security. CloudGenix customers experience up to 70 percent WAN costs savings, an improved user experience for their applications, and more than 10x improvements in application and network uptime.

Espressif Systems* (Shanghai, China) is a multinational, fabless semiconductor company that leverages wireless computing to create high-performance IoT solutions that are more intelligent, versatile and cost-effective. The company’s all-in-one system-on-chips (SoCs) provide dual-mode connectivity (Wi-Fi+BT/BLE) to a wide range of IoT products – including tablets, cameras, wearables and smart home devices – at competitive prices.

VenueNext* (Santa Clara, California, U.S.) transforms the way guests experience every kind of venue, from arenas and concert halls to hotels and hospitals. Its smart-venue platform connects a facility’s siloed operational systems to give guests seamless access to services via their smartphones, and provides real-time analytics and insights that transform business outcomes. A sample of customers include Levi’s Stadium, Yankee Stadium, U.S. Bank Stadium, Amway Center, Churchill Downs and St. Luke’s Health Systems.

Future of Silicon

Lyncean Technologies* (Fremont, California, U.S.) was founded in 2001 to develop the Compact Light Source (CLS), a miniature synchrotron X-ray source. Enabling a reduction in scale by a factor of 200, the CLS shrinks a machine capable of synchrotron quality experiments from stadium-sized to room-sized. Lyncean’s newest development is a novel EUV source based on coherent photon generation in a compact electron storage ring, specifically designed for high-volume manufacturing semiconductor lithography.

Movellus* (San Jose, California, U.S.) develops semiconductor technologies that enable digital tools to automatically create and implement functionality previously achievable only with custom analog design. Using digital design, Movellus improves the efficiency of creating and laying out analog circuits for SoCs – resulting in faster design time, faster time to yield, smaller die size and lower failure rates. Movellus’ customers include semiconductor and systems companies in the AI, networking and FPGA segments.

SiFive* (San Mateo, California, U.S.) is the leading provider of market-ready processor core IP based on the RISC-V instruction set architecture. Founded by the inventors of RISC-V and led by a team of industry veterans, SiFive helps system-on-chip designers reduce time to market and increase cost savings by enabling system designers to produce customized, open-architecture processor cores.

Taken as a whole, Brooks said, these 12 new companies will help Intel change the future of compute. “We are planting seeds,” he said, “that will grow for decades.”

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