Qualcomm sets up $100 million fund targeting AI ventures

The U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm has set up a $100 million fund that will invest in start-ups working on artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.
Qualcomm for mobile chipsThe fund, Qualcomm Ventures AI Fund, has already made its first investment via a Series A funding round of AnyVision, a face, body, and object recognition start-up, the company said without disclosing the amount.

The new fund will focus on AI that will be used in autonomous cars, robotics and machine learning platforms.

San Diego-based Qualcomm joins chip industry contemporaries such as Intel, Micron Technology and Nvidia in investing in AI.

Micron said in October it plans to invest up to $100 million in startups focusing on artificial intelligence.

Intel’s venture capital arm has invested more than $1 billion in recent years into the technology.

“Qualcomm’s AI strategy couples leading 5G connectivity with our R&D, fueling AI to transform industries, business models and experiences,” Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm, said.

Qualcomm Ventures’ AI investments include Cruise Automation, Brain Corp., Clarifai, Prospera, SenseTime and Retail Next. The announcement was made at Qualcomm Ventures’ 5G & AI Summit in San Francisco.