Samsung’s NEXT investment arm has revealed it will be rolling out early stage startup investment in Europe from a $150 million (£116m) fund.
The move marks the start of the South Korean technology company’s expansion plans in Europe, building upon its opening of a headquarters in Berlin; Samsung has plans to open more offices across Europe within the next year.
The European arm of the NEXT startup funding programme, which has thus far seen Samsung invest in more that 60 companies, will target early stage startups that are focusing on ‘frontier tech’ such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), augmented and virtual reality; areas which Samsung sees as having the potential to scale up rapidly.
“I’m excited to lead our expansion into Europe. The combination of deep tech talent and cultural diversity makes this market very attractive. It also gives us a great opportunity to become the place for European entrepreneurs looking to build and grow their startups and turn them into revolutionary companies.”
Samsung is not carrying out this investment out of the kindness of its corporate heart, rather the company will look to integrate the technology from funded startups into is own ecosystem of products and services.
Previous examples of this activity can be seen with Samsung’s acquisition of mobile payments firm LoopPay, AI platform provider Viv, IoT platform SmartThings, and cloud computing service provider Joyent.
Clearly, Samsung’s investment plans are a means to gain access to innovative technology that it can benefit from at the early stages of development rather than trying to integrate more mature tech into its ecosystem and paying through the nose for it.
And Samsung is not alone in such activity, with major tech firms like Dell carrying out venture investment, and Apple investing in China to bolster its presence in the nation.
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