The chip-maker has a burgeoning portfolio of startup investments worldwide, including 20 or so deals in India, but in Asia it has tended to focus the majority of its investing on China. In announcing its upcoming India fund, the U.S. firm said it’s looking at mobile (of course!), and in particular: hardware, software, commerce, health, location services and retail tech. The capital will be deployed across “all stages,” so we aren’t necessarily just talking about early-stage deals here.
To give some idea of how that shakes out in reality, Qualcomm has invested in Yourstory, a news site focused on stories of entrepreneurship, healthcare tech firm Portea Medical, and digital mapping startup MapMyIndia. That’s quite a diverse mix, and it’ll be interesting to see if that continues when the stakes are amped up.
Other new funds operating in India include Tiger Global (a whopping $2.5 billion), and Accel ($305 million). Helion Ventures is closing in on a new $300 million fund, while SoftBank has pledged to spend more than $10 billion on deals with India-based startups, too. Sequoia, SAIF and Lightbox are among other well-funded and active startup investors in India.
News of Qualcomm’s new commitment to India came as part of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the U.S. A flurry of news items related to that trip included Facebook’s rebranding of Internet.org, a Q&A between Mark Zuckerberg and Modi, Google’s pledge to bring wireless Internet to India’s train stations, and more.