Samsung’s venture capital arm debuts in India with four investments worth $8.5 million

  • Samsung’s investment arm Samsung Venture Investment Corporation invested in four startups in India.
  • It has invested a total of $8.5 million.
  • One of its investments – Gnana.ai – is aimed at powering Samsung’s voice assistant Bixby with vernacular content.
Samsung’s venture capital arm – Samsung Venture Investment Corporation – has placed its bets on four Indian startups with a total of $8.5 million, marking its debut in India.

The startups are – system apps company OSLabs (Indus OS), speech technology startup Gnani.ai, IoT solutions provider Silvan Innovation Labs and an early stage computer vision startup.

According to Dr Aloknath De, Chief Technology Officer of Samsung R&D Institute, the Indian startup ecosystem has matured over the last few years - with many early stage companies working on Artificial Intelligence, IoT and cloud.

“This will be a win-win for both as it will help startups scale their solutions through this deep engagement while we get an opportunity to enrich our offerings to our consumers,” said De.

The global phone manufacturer had already been working with OS Labs to launch their new Galaxy Store. It runs Indus App Bazaar which helps in app discovery and improve download experience to consumers in 12 local Indian languages, apart from English.

Bixby, which is Samsung’s voice assistant, competes with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. With its investment in Gnani, Samsung hopes to offer vernacular service through Bixby.

Globally, Samsung has made investments totalling up to $2.2 billion since 1999. The VC fund focuses on investing in future-oriented businesses that can work as growth engines.

The fund looks at investing in areas like semiconductors, telecommunication, software, internet, bio engineering and medical industry. Samsung had also announced that it will invest $22 billion in the next three years in artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, automotive electronics components and biopharmaceuticals.
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