Qualcomm to invest $200m in start-ups building 5G ecosystem

29 Oct 2019

Qualcomm in Santa Clara. Image: © Andrei/Stock.adobe.com

Qualcomm Ventures plans to invest an aggregate of $200m in companies driving 5G adoption and accelerating 5G innovation beyond the smartphone.

Semiconductor and telecoms equipment manufacturer Qualcomm recently announced plans to invest $200m in companies building the 5G ecosystem through its investment arm, Qualcomm Ventures.

Set up in 2000, Qualcomm Ventures invests in next-generation wireless technologies and is “focused on building the connections that bring our mobile future forward”. The business previously set up the Qualcomm Ventures AI Fund, which focused on investing in start-ups using on-device AI.

The company’s latest fund aims to invest in technology areas that will drive the economy forward and where the telecoms giant has a demonstrated expertise.

‘A business strategy for all’

The VC fund will invest up to an aggregate of $200m in companies developing new and innovative 5G use cases, driving 5G network transformation and expanding 5G into enterprise markets.

In a statement, the company said: “This fund is designed to accelerate 5G innovation beyond the smartphone and drive 5G adoption.”

Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated, said: “5G will transform industries and should be viewed as a business strategy for all. The intent of this fund is to fuel innovative 5G businesses that will be poised to take advantage of the $13.trn economic benefit that 5G will enable by 2035.”

Quinn Li, senior vice-president of Qualcomm Technologies, said: “The 5G Ecosystem Fund will invest in start-ups developing 5G applications beyond smartphones and across the entire 5G value chain.

“From companies developing new use cases leveraging 5G’s unique capabilities, to solutions that transform networks into an intelligent, software-defined connectivity fabric. We want to fuel the innovations in the 5G ecosystem and unlock the potential of 5G.”

Since Qualcomm’s venture arm was launched in 2000, it has made more than 250 investments in companies including Zoom, Cloudflare, AMEC, Xiaomi, Fitbit and Waze.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic