LONDON Qualcomm's ventures unit is planning to invest Euros 100 million ($135 million) in European companies targeting wireless technologies. The fund will focus on small- to medium- sized start-ups that are developing technologies for W-CDMA in Europe.
Companies in Qualcomm Ventures' sights include those working on mobile application/platform software development, handset components, network infrastructure and core technologies providers.
Qualcomm said it would aid those it invests in with strategic guidance, advice in enhancing and protecting their innovations, support in standardizing their technology, and help getting faster access to global markets.
The first company singled out for backing is Streamezzo (Paris, France) which develops wireless media software and services, specially targeting mobile TV applications.
Qualcomm (San Diego, Calif.) would not reveal how much it had invested in Streamezzo, but the investment closes the company's already announced second round of financing. Existing investors include AXA Private Equity, T Source, France Telecom Technologies Investissements, GET and Sofinnova Ventures.
The second round was scheduled to raise Euros 11 million to add to a first round of financing in September 2004 that raised Euros 5 million. The company said the investment would allow it to expand and accelerate product development and begin worldwide marketing.
"Qualcomm is serious about being a partner to the European wireless market," said Andrew Gilbert, president of the company's European operations.
"We are actively seeking opportunities to invest in and support promising European companies. Not only do we recognize Europe's significant market potential, but we believe this kind of investment and know-how support will help to unlock the true potential of these remarkable SMEs. The significant resources we are allocating demonstrate our commitment to fostering this vibrant innovation culture and to continue working within the European market," Gilbert said in a statement Thursday (May 24).
Qualcomm has already made several acquisitions in Europe, including Tellit UK, Trigenix and Elata.
The venture fund was launched in the U.S. in November 2000 with an initial $500 million allocation with the aim of fostering 3G and wireless innovation. It has invested in numerous companies in the U.S. as well as Korea, Japan and China.