On Wednesday, Qualcomm announced a new venture fund, aimed at Chinese startups. The new $150 million fund is aimed at mobile-based startups across a variety of fields: “Qualcomm will invest in Chinese companies that further the development of mobile technologies in the following areas: Internet; e-commerce; semi-conductor; education and health.”1 The fund will be administered by Qualcomm Ventures.
Qualcomm Ventures has been quite active in China for the past 10 or so years. The new fund, however, is certain to lead to a much wider investment net. Though the new fund has a much larger scope, Qualcomm also sees China as a way to bolster their bread and butter: Semiconductors. “Qualcomm also sees China as a strong player in the semiconductor industry and Qualcomm wants to increase investments in this area to add to its existing strategic investments in Chinese companies such as Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Inc.”2 Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf made a statement concerning his company’s commitment to the region:
Our strategic collaboration with and technical support of the Chinese wireless industry has helped this vibrant ecosystem, helped drive direct and indirect employment, and contributed to economic growth in the entire Chinese wireless industry. Through these strategic collaborations and increased venture investments, Qualcomm remains committed to supporting the continuous growth of China’s flourishing mobile ecosystem, the development of 4G LTE networks, devices and applications, and addressing industry evolutions and challenges, including the impending 1000x mobile data challenge.3