Intel invests in Asian e-commerce plays

The private equity arm of the US-based semiconductor giant has made three investments in Asia-based e-commerce startups.

Intel Capital has invested $16 million across three Asia Pacific e-commerce businesses, according to a company statement. 

Beneficiaries are India’s health product distributor Bright Lifecare and consumer goods website Snapdeal.com, as well as its existing Singapore-based portfolio company Reebonz.com, an online luxury retailer. 

The investments are intended to promote innovation in Asia’s e-commerce and distribution industries, according to the statement. The firm believes a rising middle-class across the region and improving internet connectivity has supported the growth of the online retail market.

“These three exciting and innovative companies are delivering new e-Commerce experiences to an ever-increasing customer base,” Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital and Intel executive vice-president, said in the statement. 

We see start-up companies across Asia Pacific taking advantage of new business opportunities created by the spread of personal computing and broadband internet access.

Gregory Bryant, vice-president and general manager, Intel Asia Pacific

“We see start-up companies across Asia Pacific taking advantage of new business opportunities created by the spread of personal computing and broadband Internet access. These technologies allow entrepreneurs to reach new markets and customers, and offer innovative new services that will help to enrich the lives of people across Asia,” Gregory Bryant, vice-president and general manager of Intel Asia Pacific, added.

Intel Capital started investing in Asia Pacific in 1998 and has since invested over $2 billion in more than 320 technology companies, according to the firm. It invests in a number of industries, including mobile computing, consumer Internet, cloud computing, software and services and semiconductor design and manufacturing. The firm said that 60 of its Asia Pacific investments have either gone public or have been acquired. 

During 2012, Intel Capital invested $352 million in 150 investments globally, with approximately 57 percent of funds invested outside North America. The firm is the private equity investment arm of technology giant Intel and currently has about $2.18 billion in assets under management, according to Private Equity International’s Research & Analytics division. 

Earlier this month, Intel Capital announced the formation of a $100 million fund to invest in technologies that seek to integrate human sensory experience into devices to make for a more natural, intuitive computing experience, according to a statement from the firm.