As the year draws to a close and we reflect on 2021, we’re reminded that while it was another challenging year it was also a remarkable one for our industry and the extraordinary founders and startups we’re privileged to work with. We’re grateful to have been investing for more than two decades in the promising and transformative companies at the forefront of the digital future.
It’s been a record year. The industry expanded to new heights in 2021 moving at an unprecedented speed, and we too adapted and moved quickly to keep pace. We welcomed 25 new portfolio companies to the Qualcomm Ventures family, more than in any year before, across 5G, AI, IoT, Auto, Enterprise and Cloud as well as Consumer.
We also cheered on over 20 of our portfolio companies who had successful exits, including leading spatial data company Matterport; SentinelOne, who achieved the highest-valued cybersecurity IPO; v-RAN leader Altiostar, acquired by Rakuten at $1B+ valuation; switch silicon provider Innovium, which was acquired by Marvell also for $1B+ and MapMyIndia, India’s leading provider of digital maps and location based services. In the last 5 years, we’ve been fortunate to have supported 15 companies on their journey to achieve unicorn exits —congratulations to all the founders on their success and recognition.
For 35 years Qualcomm has been inventing technologies that accelerate the digital future, from the birth of digital cellular communications to the rise of the smartphone, to the growth of the cloud to the digital transformation of virtually every industry. Qualcomm is enabling a world where everyone and everything is intelligently connected. Through our investments, Qualcomm Ventures is well positioned to help drive the development and growth of this connected intelligent edge. Having been at the forefront of the digital future, we have a unique perspective to invest in and support the innovative companies that will carry that transformation forward.
As we look ahead to the new year and beyond, we’re excited for the ambitious companies we’re newly invested in. And as billions of devices are becoming connected and smarter, the 5G connectivity fabric will bring the cloud closer to the edge, enabling an intelligent edge from computers to factories to vehicles.
We are excited to support our portfolio companies developing innovative solutions leveraging 5G and AI, for applications in automotive, IoT, enterprise and consumer sectors. These companies are building the technologies that will bring about the connected intelligent edge.
As AI platforms mature and scale, the technology is yielding numerous new applications and exciting opportunities. Here a few select AI companies we invested in this year:
- Humane, building a new class of devices and technologies for the next generation of human-computer interaction;
- WellSaid Labs, powering the exploding creator economy by leveraging AI to deliver text-to-speech that sounds nearly indistinguishable from human speech; and
- Pongbot, a pioneer in AI-powered robots for Ping Pong training.
The IoT revolution continues, and it’s helping to – among many other use cases – solve the world’s supply chain challenges by increasing visibility and agility. To this end, we invested in:
- FourKites, which is bringing more efficiency to the logistics industry with real-time visibility;
- Locus, a last-mile delivery platform that deploys a sophisticated intelligence layer to make dynamic decisions in the logistics and supply chain segment; and
- InVia Robotics, an industrial robotics company that leverages AI to optimize warehouse automation and improve efficiency.
We also continue to invest in intelligent, connected automotive technology, including an investment in Uhnder, which is developing digital radar technology that will enable autonomous vehicles.
And we’re expanding our aperture to XR, investing in a VR game developer Resolution Games, which is pioneering a games-as-a-service model.
Finally, as a global investor, we are privileged to work with remarkable founders and to fund transformative ideas from around the world. This year we launched the XR Ecosystem Investment Alliance in China, to accelerate XR innovation, as well as co-hosted a 5G startup competition aimed at attracting early-stage startups in the 5G space. We co-launched the Brazil IoT Fund, which will support up to 30 startups over the next ten years. And we launched the second cohort of the Qualcomm Women Entrepreneurs India Network (QWEIN), a platform to empower women entrepreneurs. This year’s cohort includes 12 female entrepreneurs leveraging 5G, AI, IoT, and XR technologies.
We’re thrilled to support and work with the founders and startups we invest in as they build the technologies of tomorrow — made possible by the convergence of 5G, high-performance, low-power computing delivering on-device AI— to enable the truly connected intelligent edge.