Intel Capital drops $117M on 14 startups

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Intel Capital invests $117 million in over a dozen startups. (Pixabay)

Intel Capital announced Monday that it had made a $117 million investment in 14 startups across a range of technologies, services and applications.

The finance unit invested in "disruptive" technology startups that spanned AI, communications, manufacturing and health care. The investments reflected Intel Capital’s recent strategy of taking larger, more strategic positions in portfolio startups.

Related: Cisco tunes up early-stage startup investor Decibel

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Each year, Intel Capital puts $300 million to $500 million into innovative companies across a wide range of emerging technologies, but the latest round had a decidedly artificial intelligence flavor.

“These companies are shifting the way we think about artificial intelligence, communications, manufacturing and health care – areas that will become increasingly essential in coming years as the linchpins of a smarter, more connected society," said Wendell Brooks, Intel senior vice president and president of Intel Capital, in a prepared statement. “Our continued goal is to leverage the global resources and expertise of the world’s greatest engineering company, and its ecosystem of customers and partners, to help these founders accelerate growth and innovation."

Petaluma, Calif.-based Tidbit Communications was among the beneficiaries of Intel Capital's investment round. Tidbit is working toward replacing dedicated hardware boxes in service provider and enterprise networks with a small module connected to a standard Ethernet switch, which would lead to a reduction in costs, power consumption and space.

Some of the investments that were announced at the Intel Capital Global Summit included:

• China-based Cloudpick, which is a smart retail technology provider that uses deep learning and computer vision for e-commerce solutions.

• Houston-based Medical Informatics, which uses machine learning and data to bring predictive analytics to the healthcare industry.

• Santa Clara, Calif.-based Pixeom, which is working on how enterprises manage hybrid cloud resources with its edge computing software platform.

• China-based EEasy Technology, which is an AI system-on-chip (SoC) design company that makes AI systems targeting video, automotive and smart devices.

Intel Capital took a worldview with its 14-startup investments across the United States, China, Canada, Israel and the United Kingdom. Intel Capital listed all of its startup investments in Monday's press release.

Intel Capital and Intel Global Diversity and Inclusion also announced a sponsorship of HBCU, which is a nonprofit organization that helps teach students at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-serving Institutions (HSIs) about venture capital and technology entrepreneurship.

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