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Qualcomm Ventures launches $100 million AI fund

Qualcomm Ventures today announced the creation of AI Fund, a program to invest up to $100 million in promising startups. The news was shared by global head of Qualcomm Ventures Quinn Li together with CEO Steven Mollenkopf in a presentation held today in San Francisco.

The fund’s first investment was made in AnyVision, a computer vision and facial recognition software company. The size of investments made in specific companies will not be disclosed, but the fund will make investments ranging from $1 million to $10 million. Roughly one-third of investments will go to Series A companies and two-third to Series B companies, Li told VentureBeat in a phone interview.

Qualcomm Ventures will look to invest in companies across a broad range of application of AI today, including vertical use cases like autonomous cars, robotics, or enterprise solutions, as well as platforms for building models for deep learning and more broadly in machine learning.

As maker of the Snapdragon processor for mobile or IoT, the fund will look to invest in companies that deploy on-device machine learning.

“I think we’re going to look at of various use cases and solving very specific problems in different industry verticals,” he said. “I think we’re just looking for solutions to apply AI to solve real problems in these different verticals, because generic AI is interesting, it’s probably got a lot of attention recently, but I think the real value is creating solutions that can solve real specific needs or problems for customers so we’re going to spend quite a bit time figuring out what use cases specifically these companies are able to solve, hopefully leveraging the technology we have.”

Created in 2000, Qualcomm Ventures currently has a portfolio of about 150 companies ranging from Ring, Waze, and Xiaomi.

Existing AI investments include computer vision startup Clarifai, autonomous driving company Cruise Automation, and AI platform SenseTime in China, and Robotics company Brain Corp, which debuted a delivery robot with SoftBank Robotics earlier this week.

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