Samsung’s VC Unit Makes India Debut with Four Investments Worth $8.5 Million

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Samsung Venture has invested in Indus OS, Gnani.ai, Silvan Innovation and a fourth unnamed firm

Samsung Venture Investment Corporation, the venture capital arm of Samsung Group, has invested $8.5 million across four Indian startups, marking its debut in the country.

The four startups include – system apps company OSLabs (Indus OS), speech technology startup Gnani.ai, IoT solutions provider Silvan Innovation Labs and an early-stage computer vision startup, whose name it did not disclose.

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Samsung Venture invests in early-to-late stage startups that have a strategic fit with the South Korean company’s products and goals.

Recently, Samsung partnered with OS Labs to launch the new Galaxy Store, powered by Indus App Bazaar, which brings app discovery and download experience to consumers in 12 local Indian languages, apart from English.

Samsung’s voice assistant Bixby competes with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. With its investment in Gnani’s ASR engine, the Korean company is likely to offer Bixby regional language service.

Silvan’s products and IoT platform will add value to Samsung’s efforts to have all its products IoT ready by 2020, the investor said.

Indian startup ecosystem 

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, internet of things, cloud and other emerging technology solutions as well as services, noted Aloknath De, CTO of Samsung R&D Institute Bengaluru.

In 2018, Samsung invested over $15 billion on research and development through its 36 R&D centres worldwide. It plans to invest $22 billion over the next three years in areas such as AI, 5G, automotive electronics components and biopharmaceuticals.

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