Mobile

Intel Capital pours $26M into six online and mobile startups

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Intel Capital announced today that it has invested $26 million into six companies across the mobile hardware, software and applications markets.

The investment arm of Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, typically invests in promising new technologies that will eventually help create demand for its chips or otherwise advance some of the company’s strategic initiatives. It made the announcement at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona today to show that it has its pulse on mobile technology.

The startups Intel invested in are open source mobile software company Borqs; location-based mapping platform and tools provider CloudMade; QuantumFilm-based image sensor vendor InVisage (a DEMO startup); open source online video platform Kaltura; online authentication provider SecureKey Technologies; and unified communications and collaboration service software provider VisionOSS Solutions.

All six companies have created technologies to enhance the user experience across a number of mobile devices, including handhelds, tablets, and laptops. They also run a variety of operating systems include MeeGo and Android. MeeGo is Intel’s Linux-based mobile operating system that it was co-developing with Nokia. But Nokia announced a broad partnership with Microsoft on Friday that likely means it won’t support MeeGo in a broad way in the future.

Since 1991, Intel has invested more than $9.8 billion in 1,100 companies in 48 countries. About 189 startups have gone public, 258 were acquired, and Intel invested $327 million in 2010 into 119 companies. Intel recently added well-connected early-stage investor Christine Herron to the ranks of Intel Capital.

Here’s more detail on the investments from Intel’s press release:

Borqs (Beijing) is an Android software integrator for mobile devices. The company works with name-brand smart phone OEMs, semi-conductor companies, and mobile operators to enhance the Android system to meet their requirements. With expertise ranging from kernel, device-level drivers to top-level user interfaces, Borqs Android solution has been deployed in more than 30 Android mobile devices for W-CDMA networks and TD-SCDMA networks. Borqs Android solution is Google CTS compliant. The investment from Intel Capital, subject to the satisfaction of closing conditions, aligns with Intel’s port of choice strategy to support multiple operating systems across a variety of devices and will be used by the company for business development.

CloudMade (Menlo Park, Calif.) was founded in 2007 to enable developers to build location-enabled applications and services. The company provides application developers with a range of innovative tools and application programming interfaces to enable the creation of unique location-based applications across all major web and mobile platforms. Today there are more than 16,000 developers using CloudMade’s tools to create applications for mobile and Web consumers. The investment from Intel Capital will be used to further strengthen the platform and to work with developers to provide them with an unparalleled suite of tools designed for their specific needs. CloudMade will be certified under the Intel’s AppUp™ application store.

Kaltura (New York) provides a widely adopted open source online video platform. More than 100,000 media and entertainment companies, enterprises, small- and medium-size businesses, educational institutions, service providers, platform vendors and system integrators use Kaltura’s flexible platform to enhance their websites, Web services and Web platforms with advanced customized rich-media functionalities that are delivered through any connected device. Kaltura’s features and products enable the easy deployment of custom workflows involving video, photo and audio creation, ingestion, publishing, management, distribution, engagement, monetization and analysis. The investment will be used to enhance rich-media functionalities on tablets, mobile phones and other connected devices, with a special emphasis on supporting the MeeGo™ mobile operating system and Intel’s AppUp application store. Kaltura said separately it raised $20 million today.

InVisage Technologies (Menlo Park, Calif.) is harnessing the power of custom-designed semiconductor materials to develop QuantumFilm, the world’s first commercial quantum dot-based material for image sensors. QuantumFilm replaces silicon as the light capture material to enable high-fidelity, high-resolution images from such handheld devices as camera phones and digital cameras. Imaging is becoming an increasingly important capability across notebooks, handhelds and tablets. InVisage will use this funding round — led by Intel Capital — to bring its products and technology into mass production.

SecureKey Technologies (Toronto) designs hardware and software solutions to enable the strong cryptographic capabilities of debit, credit and identity smartcards — including those within Near Field Communication-based phones — for online authentication and online purchases. SecureKey’s solutions provide a powerful user experience that can be delivered across platforms improving both the security and convenience of online transactions. The company’s focus on secure transactions aligns with Intel’s vision of security as a key pillar of computing across all platforms, as more peoples’ lives are conducted online. The investment will be used to drive growth and expansion.

VisionOSS Solutions (Reading, UK) provides a unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) service delivery and management platform to service providers and large enterprise customers that are planning to, or have already launched, complex, multi-cluster IP-PBX and UC&C architectures. The VOSS technology is a real-time, fully automated, scalable and centralized UC&C service delivery and management platform, which reduces complexity, speeds implementation, and cuts costs for the fulfillment of UC&C services. VOSS will use the new funds to fuel its growth, and to support the evolution of its technology which has already been deployed in a significant number of tier-one service providers.

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