Intel boosts mobile portfolio, BRIC penetration with £25m investment spread across 10 companies

Intel Capital, the venture capital arm of the eponymous US semiconductor chip behemoth, has announced a string of investments worth a total of $40 million (£24.8m).

The news was unveiled via a webcast from the group's annual Global Summit in California, where Intel Capital president Arvind Sodhani announced the new strategic funding drive.

Comprised of investments in 10 companies across a range of technology sectors - including the cloud, gaming, social media, wireless, and mobile – the financing initiative illustrates the increased competition posed by firms located in the Far East, as well as developing economies like India and Brazil, to the traditional Silicon Valley hierarchy.

"The globe is our oyster," Sodhani said, though he refused to be drawn into speculating on the significance of a more dynamic global economic landscape.

However, he added that Intel could afford to be a "patient investor," whilst still emphasising that the group expected "high rates of return."

"We are able to invest and help our companies be successful, and not be in a rush to get in, get out, which tends to be the case if you have the pressure of a fund – particularly if your fund is at the tail end of its fund, and there is a lot of pressure on fund managers to get an exit," he ventured.

It's an impressive list, and one that showcases a number of key industry trends - Lenovo is one of many firms moving-and-shaking in the BRIC economies at the moment - in addition to highlighting Intel's continued desire to successfully break into the mobile market.

The investment into FocalTech in particular fits with previous speculation that Intel is eyeing up potential business moves in China, with the Taiwanese firm's technology highly likely to feature in the US chip giant's next bout of mobile SoC designs.

Chip sales, of course, are Intel's ultimate goal. While it has historically enjoyed success in the PC sector, the seemingly unstoppable rise of mobile has promoted the company - and many others like it - to push in new directions.

"Our overall goal is to increase the utilisation of microprocessors in the client," Sodhani concluded.

The 10 firms receiving an unspecified financial injection from Intel are:

Company

Location

Sector

Description

Box

Los Altos, California

Mobile

Secure content sharing platform available across iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices, and the web

FocalTech

Hsinchu, Taiwan

Hardware – components

Integrated circuit design house specialising in touch panel controllers

Hungama

Mumbai, India

Web - entertainment

On-demand media streaming service specialising in providing Bollywood content

Jelli

San Mateo, California

Social media

Social radio platform for iOS, Android and the web that also provides ad serving

LIFO Interactive

Seoul, South Korean

Gaming

Games developer working across iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8, and social media

NewAer

Los Angeles, California

Wireless

Mobile proximity service utilising Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC to automate location-based app actions

PagPop

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Web

Secure e-payment platform with a focus on mobile phones and PCs

Tier 3

Bellevue, Washington

Cloud

Cloud-based PaaS and IaaS provider

Transmension

Shanghai, China

Gaming

Games developer specialising in 3D and content delivery

UUCun

Shanghai, China

Digital advertising

Mobile internet ad platform expanding into payments and gaming