Intel Puts $22M In 10 Startups, With A Stake In FreedomPop To Launch A Rival To Google’s Project Fi

Intel Capital, the venture arm of the tech giant, today announced $22 million in new investments across 10 startups. The news was delivered at the company’s annual global summit, where it also said that it would invest half a billion dollars in total this year.

This is both a rise and fall of sorts. As a point of comparison, during the same event last year, Intel announced $67 million of investments in 16 startups, but said that 2014 investments totaled $359 million.

It seems that $67 million is a magic number for Intel: the company announced the same amount of investments in Chinese startups just this past September.

Today’s investments cover a range of companies running from later stages in larger and more established startups through to newer companies and emerging technologies, and come from five countries: China, Israel, Taiwan, the UK, and the U.S. Intel is not disclosing the value of any individual stake today.

FreedomPop, a provider of “free” wireless voice and data services that makes its money on value-added options like voicemail, extra data allowances and so on. This is a strategic investment for FreedomPop, which plans to use the money to build out a new broadband service that will rival Google Project Fi — specifically, it will use Intel’s new SoFIA platform to launch a WiFi-based smartphone with free mobile services.

LISNR, maker of Smart Tones, a “protocol that sends data over audio using a high-frequency, inaudible technology” that turns speakers and other media into beacons. This is also part of Intel’s $125 million Diversity Fund.

Sckipio, the first company to announce and ship commercial chipsets for modems. These promise to deliver up to 1Gbp/s broadband the last mile to the home over existing copper wiring.

what3words, an “addressing platform” that provides more accurate location information than GPS.

Body Labs for collecting, digitizing and organizing data and information related to human body shape, pose and motion. “Its mission is to transform the human body into a digital platform upon and around which goods and services can be designed, produced, bought and sold.” (Not at all creepy!)

Microprogram Information, an Internet of Things startup that provides turnkey hardware and software solutions and backend information management services for transportation services like rental bicycles, taxi fleets and mobile point-of-sale systems.

Perfant Technology, out of China, develops imaging and video technologies for artificial intelligence, machine vision, 3-D reconstruction and virtual reality.

Chargifi is a wireless charging network, billed as “power as a platform.” It offers this in a series of “Chargifi Spots” across public locations.

KMLabs, a maker of laser systems for research and industrial applications, including multi-photon imaging, spectroscopy, OCT, THz-generation, CEP, micro-machining and attosecond, coherent soft X-Ray and EUV pulse generation as well as a “tabletop x-ray laser” light source.

Prieto Battery, a 3-D advanced battery provider “focused on commercializing a patented Lithium-ion battery technology that delivers transformational performance at a competitive cost using non-toxic materials with the ability to customize shapes.”

Intel also announced that it has invested in Parallel Machines, an early-stage predictive analytics and machine learning startup, but it seems that it’s not counted in the $22 million/10 startup total.