Korea-based smartphone company, Samsung, has recently made fresh investments in the Indian industry through its investment arm, Samsung Venture Investment Corporation (SVIC). SVIC essentially invests in technology and internet-related businesses.“Samsung Venture Investment Corporation is actively investing in future-oriented businesses based on new and innovative technologies that are expected to serve as new growth engines,” the company says on its website.
In India, Samsung-led VC firm has ploughed in INR 60 crore in 4 startup companies. Till now, the company has not disclosed the sum that it has invested in each startup company. “The investment in each of the startups ranges between $1 million to $5 million,” a company spokesperson told the Indian daily news, IANS.
Technology and IoT are a Big Bet
In the recent investment, SVIC has mainly targeted Indian companies in technology and IoT niches namely, speech-tech firm - Gnani.ai, an IoT (Internet of Things) solutions firm, Silvan Innovation Labs, system apps firm, OSLabs and a computer vision startup firm, whose name has not been disclosed yet.
"SVIC is planning to make 100 investments (each amounting $1 million to $5 million) in India in the next three to five years," Aloknath De, Corporate Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Samsung R&D Institute Bengaluru, told the Indian daily news, IANS.
Earlier in April, SVIC had made an investment of $4.6 million in Israel-based AI company, Audioburst. According to Business Standard’s report, this move reflected Samsung’s strategy to improve its efficiency in the AI division.
Similar to SVIC’s previous investment, the four companies that SVIC has lately chosen in the Indian sphere are also in technology and IoT segments. The Mumbai-based startup company, OSLabs has created an app store named Indus App Bazaar, which garners more than 4 million mobile apps.
The Bengaluru-based company, Gnani.ai provides services in speech recognition, as well as natural language processing in the Indian languages, for developing speech analytics and voice assistants.
While Bengaluru-based company, Silvan Innovation Labs caters Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to enterprises and homes. The company has developed solutions for smart niches. It essentially renders services which address issues related to security, safety, comfort, convenience, energy management and comfort.
"The Indian startup ecosystem has matured over the last few years with early-stage companies working on top of the line technology and services, especially in areas like Artificial Intelligence, IoT, cloud and other emerging technology solutions as well as services. Samsung is committed to work with and invest in promising Indian startups. 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," Aloknath De told the daily news.
Investments Allude Samsung’s Strategy
Prior to current investments, conglomerate company, Samsung had collaborated with OS Labs to release its Galaxy Store, operated by Indus App Bazaar. The partnered company, OS Labs renders app discovery and download experience to consumers in 12 local Indian languages in addition to English and offers personalized app recommendations without mandatory sign in, as reported by the daily news, Times Now.
"As we look to offer the Indus experience to wider audiences, these funds will help us reach our goal of empowering 100 million Indian users with a content and commerce platform in the language of their choice, thus ensuring a truly inclusive digital growth and an enriched user experience for everyone," said Rakesh Deshmukh, Co-founder and CEO, OSLabs told the daily news, IANS.
In a similar manner, Samsung’s investment in Gnani will help the company to boost Samsung’s Bixby service in the offing.
This concludes that Samsung has made investments reflecting on its business needs and future demands in the industry.