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2014-10-20

Intel Capital to now focus on deep technology sectors

Last June, Intel created a $100-million (Rs 600-crore) global fund to finance perceptual computing projects, or those that use more senses like gestures and image recognition to interact with computers.

Intel Capital India, the corporate VC arm of one of the largest chipmakers in the world, said it is shifting its focus back to deep technology sectors, such as internet-of-things platforms, gesture technology, cloud computing and wearables, after backing several ecommerce ventures in the country, according to a report published in Economic Times.

 

Last June, Intel created a $100-million (Rs 600-crore) global fund to finance perceptual computing projects, or those that use more senses like gestures and image recognition to interact with computers. The decision to switch lanes came about six-eight months ago, Pradeep Tagare, director, Intel Capital India told ET.

 

"We are taking a step back from internet companies. We have a fair exposure in the internet space, and lots of capital is going into it," said Tagare, whose firm has invested in companies like trip planning website Yatra.com and online health store Healthkart, among others.

 

The shift in thinking marks a change for the e-commerce-obsessed Indian startup ecosystem, which has seen at least $1.8 billion pumped invested in across 40 deals this year alone, according to Venture Intelligence.

 

"Over the past three months or so, VCs are bored with e-commerce. It is over and done with. They are pretty excited with new companies coming up," said Abhinav Aggarwal, co-founder, Trutech Webs. 

 

Globally, about $1.1 billion was invested across 153 deals in 2013 in the internet-of-things space, according to research firm CB Insights. And the Indian ecosystem is also showing a similar trend. Two-year-old SmartBuildings, which has built out a smart energy management solution for commercial buildings, said it has already received a buy-out offer, and has five paying customers on board, the report adds further.

 

"The investors' change of heart is indicative of the general trend in the market," said Anil Gupta, CEO of SmartBuildings and a former COO of Aditi Technolgies. "Not just traditional VCs, even listed and private companies are showing interest," Gupta told ET.

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