Tag: qualcomm ventures

Qualcomm plunges money into restaurants

Mangoes - Wikimedia CommonsEvery large multinational tech company has a VC arm, and Qualcomm is no exception to that rule.  The money companies invest is partly as a hedge to hide behind, partly a PR exercise to show a firm has  heard the 21st century mantra, “innovation” and sometimes it’s even related to technology a firm wants to push.

Qualcomm, like many other tech multinationals is seeking to diversify. And as part of this strategy, the firm has apparently put over $6 million into a Korean firm called MangoPlate.

MangoPlate is a service that helps you find restaurants.

According to the Korea Times, Qualcomm wants to help grow the Korean market and it believes that “food technology” has great potential for growth.

A director at Qualcomm VC told the newspaper that it believed MangoPlate “will become a new icon” in Korea.

MangoPlate slices and dices data from reviews and social networks to provide potential diners with a place they’d like to go. The Qualcomm Ventures web site shows dozens of firms it’s put money into.

More well known companies it’s invested in in the past include Paypal.

How Google, Qualcomm, SAP decide to invest

How do money men in some of the world’s biggest technology companies decide where to invest their considerable treasure piles? Mike Magee found out at the White Bull conference, 2012, Barcelona.

There are different methods to the money. Speaking to the audience (ChannelBiz UK) Google’s Yves Cornaz pointed out that when it buys, the bought become Googlers overnight.

But the investment comes in mostly through product teams. According to Cornaz, the product teams get a clearer picture day-to-day of companies that are cropping up, which new companies are coming to light, and how. “We do some of our own analysis but it’s a bit harder for something to come out to stick,” Cornaz said. “In terms of process we spend quite a bit of time with the founders and our team inside”, to make sure they are excited about Doing No Evil at Google.

Though, he pointed out, the founders are “very much involved” with all M&A decisions.

Jason Ball, of Qualcomm Ventures, said that late stage companies, which are pulling in hefty revenues, tend to walk in through the front door, though this process can take six months to a year. “If we write a multimillion cheque, the top ranks of the company will be involved,” Ball said.

But, for the early stages, he admits he is on the hunt: making it known that Qualcomm is prepared to write a large cheque. “For normal seed programmes, two or three of us will decide and write a €200,000 cheque”.

At the moment, Qualcomm wants to sell more chipsets and is keeping both eyes open for businesses it can invest in to further that aim. Big on the agenda, as we wrote last year, is the internet of things, which the company believes will help it sell yet more chips. 

For SAP Ventures’, the company’s Jorg Seivert said there is a range of elements to pick from, including within the company at SAP Labs. “For the most part, we look for opportunities like this event [White Bull] or connecting to other VPs that we’re friends with,” Seivert said. As for the investment committee, there are six partners on it, and the vote goes to four out of six.