October 24, 2019 / 12:04 PM / 21 days ago

Qualcomm creates $200 million fund for 5G uses beyond phones

Oct 24 (Reuters) - Qualcomm Inc on Thursday said it has created a $200 million venture capital fund to invest in startup companies looking to use 5G technology in devices other than smartphones.

Qualcomm is supplying chips for 5G, the next generation of mobile networks rolling out this year, to phone makers such as Samsung Electronics Co Ltd The San Diego company is the biggest supplier of chips for mobile phones, but that market has stopped growing.

Qualcomm is looking to invest in companies that will use 5G in other areas, such as connecting industrial and agricultural equipment to the internet or enabling self-driving cars to communicate with infrastructure such as traffic lights and signs.

“5G will transform industries and should be viewed as a business strategy for all,” Steve Mollenkopf, Qualcomm's chief executive, said in a release.

Qualcomm last year launched a similar $100 million fund targeted at startups making devices such as smart cameras that perform artificial intelligence tasks such as facial recognition. Qualcomm sells chips that provide that capability.

Qualcomm's venture arm has previously invested in companies that later went public or were acquired, including teleconferencing company Zoom Video Communications, smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp and and self-driving car startup Cruise Automation. (Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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