Intel pumps $24M into software specialists

Intel's venture capital arm has announced a bumper $24 million payout for seven software companies, as it looks to diversify its software ecosystem in embedded computing, virtualisation, and gaming.

Intel Capital's investments include follow-on investments in Revolution Analytics, which provides software and services based on the open-source 'R' project for statistical computing, and Gaikai, which offers a cloud gaming service similar to that of OnLive where titles are streamed to almost any web browser without the need for installation.

As well as the follow-on investments, the company has announced five further investments in software outfits which demonstrate a clear trend of diversification as Intel battles the likes of ARM and its many licensees in the embedded market and AMD in the server market.

On the embedded front, Intel Capital has pumped money into enLighted, a California-based firm which aims to make lighting fixtures 'people aware' in order for enterprises to better streamline their energy management.

For enterprise types, Intel has invested in IP Commerce, a provider of a platform-as-a-service product for payment and security management in retail networks, and Guavus, which offers business analytics solutions for Fortune 1000 enterprises.

In the virtualisation space, Intel has pumped cash into DynamicOps, a company which specialises in a virtualisation platform for pushing existing IT infrastructure into on-demand private and public cloud platforms.

For gaming, Intel has added Swrve New Media to its portfolio, a company which offers game personalisation and testing for the casual game market. Interestingly, Swrve has yet to formally launch, describing itself as running a 'private beta' with a small number of clients to tune its cloud-based testing platform.

Intel Capital has an impressive record in investments: since 1991, the company has invested more than $10 billion in over 1,140 companies across the globe, of which 191 have gone public and a further 268 have been acquired or taken part in a merger. It's a branch of Intel that its competitors watch closely: Intel Capital tends to push money towards areas that its parent company believes represent a future focus for its mainstream product lines.