Intel Capital creates $100 million AppUp fund
Wednesday, November 16, 2011/
Intel has created a $100 million fund to invest in developing technologies that work across multiple devices, announcing the fund at its annual Global Summit.
Based in the United States, Intel Capital is the investment arm of Intel. Its new AppUp fund will invest $100 million in companies creating applications and digital content for multiple devices.
Mobile platform-as-a-service start-up Urban Airship, and tablet operating system developer 4tiitoo, are the first two companies to secure financing through the AppUp fund.
The AppUp fund is named after Intel’s AppUp app store and is intended to enhance the selection of available applications and content.
In 2010, Intel launched the AppUp program, which helps developers build cross-platform applications. The program is focused on apps that run on PCs from Windows to Linux.
But according to company spokesperson Peter Biddle, the apps could also run on a variety of devices including mobile devices, TVs and cars.
While Intel Capital predominantly invests in US consumer technology companies, it is beginning to show more interest in consumer technologies in emerging countries.
“Many of the apps [internationally] are unique because of the cultural issues or the way the country works,” Intel Capital president Arvind Sodhani said at the summit.
According to Sodhani, Intel Capital also seeks to go after markets that have not been explored by venture capitalists.
“We tend to go to places where the VC ecosystem has not gone yet,” Sodhani said.
To date, Intel Capital has invested more than $10 billion in around 1,100 companies across 51 countries.
It finances everything from application and consumer-centric companies to cloud computing technologies and businesses tackling infrastructure needs.
So far this year, Intel Capital has invested $472 million in more than 70 start-ups. According to Sodhani, the organisation has also seen six IPOs – mostly in Asia – and 25 M&A exits.
While Intel Capital invests across the technology spectrum, it is adept at investing in the technology that is behind the flashy consumer applications, Sodhani said.
”Before you can build the final apps that consumers rave about, you need the seven layers underneath, ranging from drivers to operating system to plugs-ins to middleware,” he said.
“So all the layers have to be created and a whole ecosystem has to be built. We’re very good at building those ecosystems.”
Sodhani emphasized his focus on Intel Capital’s $300 million Ultrabook Fund, which invests in tablet computing hardware and software technologies to lengthen battery life, improve physical designs and increase storage capacity.
The fund will be invested over the next three to four years and is aimed at fueling innovation for mobile devices, although it is yet to announce any investments.