Intel Capital Will Invest More Than $600 Million in High Tech Entrepreneurs In 2015

Intel Capital, the world’s largest corporate venture organization, has invested $465 million in innovative technology startups across the globe through the first eight months of 2015. Intel Capital is the chip giant’s strategic investment and merger and acquisition (M&A) group.

“This is shaping up to be one of our strongest years in recent memory,” said Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital and executive vice president of Intel Corp. He expects his worldwide team to invest at least another $150 million before year’s end.

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Arvind Sodhani was Intel’s treasurer in the 1980’s when he made a suggestion to CEO Andy Grove. Rather than struggle to dissuade its engineers from launching their own startups, Intel should invest in those new companies. Sodhani himself became Intel Capital’s president in 2005, and in the decade since, the organization has led the venture capital industry in exits.

Intel Capital has invested nearly US$11.6 billion in more than 1,400 startups in 57 countries.

Now Sodhani has announced plans to retire from Intel in January after nearly 35 years. He and incoming President Wendell Brooks began co-managing the organization September 1, 2015. “It will be a seamless transition,” Sodhani said.

“Intel Capital invests across the spectrum of technology, and I’m looking forward to continuing that tradition and getting to know more of our partners and portfolio CEO’s,” said Brooks a veteran investment banker, who joined Intel last year to head the company’s mergers and acquisitions.

Brooks and Sodhani will jointly manage Intel Capital until January, when Sodhani plans to retire from Intel after 35 years. During his decade as president, Intel Capital has been transformed into a global VC powerhouse and has led the venture capital industry in exits, according to PitchBook.

Brooks joined Intel last year to head its M&A organization, which Sodhani previously had run. Before that, Brooks spent 23 years in the investment banking industry. Most recently, he served as a managing director Allen & Co., where he focused on the media and technology industries. Brooks also spent 15 years as a managing director for Citigroup, where he ran the European telecom, media and technology group, overseeing M&A, debt and equity financings.

Intel Diversity Fund

Announcing the Diversity Fund, the largest venture capital fund ever created to focus on female and underrepresented minority entrepreneurs. This $125 million fund, part of Intel’s groundbreaking diversity efforts, will ensure that funded entrepreneurs enjoy the access to business development programs, global network, technology expertise and brand capital their talents deserve.

“We are proud to take a leading role toward broader participation in technology entrepreneurship and employment,” said Lisa M. Lambert, managing director and vice president of Intel Capital, who is leading the Intel Capital Diversity Fund. “With this new fund, Intel Capital is committed to investing in the best talent from a myriad of backgrounds to cultivate innovations that serve the needs of a diverse public.”

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Only 15 percent of venture capital-funded companies in the United States have a woman on the executive team, according to a recent Babson College report, and companies with a woman CEO receive only 3 percent of total venture capital dollars.

Furthermore, less than 1 percent of the founders of Silicon Valley companies are African American or Latino; nearly 100 percent of funded founders are white or Asian, according to venture capital database CB Insights. The Intel Capital Diversity Fund launches with investments in four companies, which will gain access to Intel Capital’s business development programs, global network, technology expertise and brand capital.

Intel Success Stories

Fifteen Intel Capital portfolio companies have achieved exits so far this year. Over that same period, the organization has notched 45 new investments and 49 follow-on investments. Representative deals this year include Mirantis (cloud computing); Skyport Systems (cybersecurity); Rithmio (wearable technology); Maana (Big Data); Yuneec Aviation (drones); Peloton Technology (connected vehicles); and GoodData (cloud-based business intelligence).

Signing a term sheet with Intel Capital is just the beginning for its startups. Leveraging Intel Corp.’s vast worldwide network of technologists, customers and partners, Intel Capital’s business development team curates thousands of meetings each year between portfolio companies and potential customers. Those startups also help Intel identify and develop new technology ecosystems. “It’s a unique value proposition no other VC can offer on the same scale,” said Brooks.

Intel Capital Launches Angel Fund in China

Intel Capital has launched a RMB80 million China Angel Fund designed to help identify and provide capital support to the country’s innovative makers, and focus on enabling smart device maker ecosystem development in China. The Intel Capital China Angel Fund is part of Intel’s Mass Makerspace Accelerator program which has been established to identify and fund China’s next global entrepreneurs, from makers and students to developers and start-ups. This is the first angel fund and the fourth investment fund Intel Capital has established in China.

>>Learn More: Intel Capital

>>Learn More: Intel Capital Diversity Fund

>Learn More: Intel Capital Success Stories

SOURCE: Intel Capital