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Data is the name of the game, as Intel Capital puts $60M in 15 startups, $566M in 2017 overall

Data is the name of the game, as Intel Capital puts $60M in 15 startups, $566M in 2017 overall
From TechCrunch - October 19, 2017

Intel Capital, the investment arm of the processor giant, is today announcing its latest tranche of investments, a total of nearly $60 million going in to 15 startups that are working on solving different problems in the bigger area of big data (with a full rundown below). The investments come on the back of a big year for the group: In 2017 so far, Intel says that its invested $566 million in startups in its portfolio.

The focus on big data in this latest group of startups comes out of a new turn for Intel and how its been making strategic investments in recent times.

Intel Capital is one of the bigger names when it comes corporate tech investing. In total, it has invested $12.2 billion in 1,500 companies since 1991. But the operation went through a rocky patch in 2016where its parent considered selling its portfolio for $1 billion in 2016, yet instead opted instead to restructure.

Part of the outcome of that has been a lot more strategic focus for Intel Capital, where the investments are made to fit more closely with how Intel would like to position its wider business.And as Intel looks for new areas of business like connected cars and healthcare where it can carve out a position for its chipmaking operations, data is one of the pervasive themes.

The world is undergoing a data explosion, saidWendell Brooks,IntelSVP and president ofIntelCapital, in a statement. By 2020, every autonomous vehicle on the road will create 4 TB of data per day. A million self-driving cars will create the same amount of data every day as 3 billion people.AsInteltransitions to a data company,IntelCapitalis actively investing in startups across the technology spectrum that can help expand the data ecosystem and pathfind important new technologies, Brooks said. (If youre wondering about pathfindthis might help).

Another outcome has been a push for more diversity: Intel says that now 10 percent of its portfolio is led by women and other underrepresented groups in the tech industry. The cohort today meanwhile hails from the United States, Canada, China, Israel and Japan.

There have been other recent announcements that point to Intels more focused investing approach. For example, in September the company announced that it had invested over $1 billion in AI companies.

Intels making a bigger presentation about the investments in its CEO Showcase today. You can watch that event here. Heres a rundown of the companies, and we have reached out to Intel to get an idea of the full size of the round for each, although generally Intel doesnt break out its own individual investments. Well update as and when we learn more:

Amenity Analytics(New York, U.S.): text analytics platform to identify actionable signals from unstructured data using machine learning, sentiment analysis and predictive analytics.

Bigstream(Mountain View, California, U.S.): hyper-acceleration technology for performance gains on Apache Spark using hardware and software accelerators. Uses advanced compiler technology and transparent support for FPGAs. Unlike other approaches, Bigstream requires no application code changes or special APIs.

LeapMind(Tokyo, Japan): focused on improving the accuracy of neural network models and is researching and developing innovative algorithms to reduce the computational complexity of deep learning and original chip architectures for use in small computing environments.

Synthego(Redwood City, California, U.S.): genome engineering solutions. Products include software and synthetic RNA kits designed for CRISPR genome editing and research.

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