Intel Corporation has earmarked US$400 million as venture capital worldwide this year as part of its expansion and growth strategies.
About $17 million will be devoted to ventures in Southeast Asia, said Sudheer Kuppam, managing director for Asia Pacific at Intel Capital, the investment arm of the world's biggest processor maker.
Venture capital will cover technologies, education, cloud computing, data centres, broadband internet, smart TV, smartphones and tablets, he said yesterday on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum meetings in Bangkok.
Since 1999, Intel has invested $95 million in a dozen companies in Southeast Asia, out of $10.6 billion invested in 51 countries since 1991.
In the first five months of this year alone, Intel invested in 28 deals globally worth $157 million. Half of the ventures were in the US and 25% in Asia.
"Asia is one the world's fastest-growing markets for high technology, thanks to robust economic growth," said Mr Kuppam.
He said Intel had yet to make a venture capital investment in Thailand, but it saw opportunity in mobile applications and animation.
Typically, the company forms ventures with firms that providing synergy with the group's own products and technologies, he said. "We plan to take less than 20% in a venture with a target company."
Mr Kuppam said Intel was looking to jump into the burgeoning digital TV market in Thailand. "We aim to produce Intel processor chip-based set-top boxes supplying the local market."
The company is also looking to participate in the Thai government's One Tablet per Child project, supplying Intel chips embedded in tablet computers.
Intel is banking on the introduction of its new-generation ultrabook computers to restore its presence in the notebook market again.
Gregory Bryant, a vice-president of Intel Asia Pacific, said the region including Thailand showed the highest growth in personal computer consumption at 10% annually.
Intel next week will introduce its third-generation Intel processor-based ultrabook, priced at $699. "We expect to gain a 20% share in the local consumer notebook market this year," he said.
In Thailand, up to 15 million of the country's 19 million households still do not own a PC.
While Asia has 100 million broadband users, "the figure could be doubled or tripled within three to five years", said Mr Bryant.
Citing a study by World Bank, he said 10% growth in broadband penetration could increase a country's GDP by 1.38%.
About the author
- Writer: Suchit Leesa-nguansuk
Position: Senior Reporter