Qualcomm launches $100m fund for on-device AI projects

Qualcomm has announced the launch of the Qualcomm Ventures AI Fund, which will invest up to $100 million in startups working on artificial intelligence.

Specifically, the fund will focus on startups “that share the vision of on-device AI becoming more powerful and widespread, with an emphasis on those developing new technology for autonomous cars, robotics, and machine learning platforms."

Qualcomm said this fund builds on more than a decade of the chipset vendor’s AI research and its heritage of developing the foundational building blocks of low power processing and connectivity, which are essential for AI.

At the venture fund reveals, Qualcomm said that through participation in a Series A funding round, the company had invested in AnyVision, an AI startup based in Tel Aviv working on face, body and object recognition technology.

Qualcomm said that AnyVision’s use of on-device AI minimizes the spread of data, which mitigates privacy concerns, and “its unique data acquisition strategy, together with its proprietary algorithms, are expected to provide immense value to customers.”

Qualcomm has previously made AI investments out of its evergreen venture fund, including in Cruise Automation, Brain Corp., Clarifai, Prospera, Retail Next and SenseTime, a Chinese AI facial recognition company.

“Qualcomm Ventures is proud to invest in the future of AnyVision and many other key players in the AI industry,” said Quinn Li, senior vice president, Ventures, Qualcomm Technologies, and global head of Qualcomm Ventures.

“Through the AI Fund, we’ll continue to seek out startups, with a focus on autonomous cars, robotics, computer vision and IoT, who are developing new AI applications, advanced machine learning technologies and AI/ML platforms across different verticals.”

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