Intel Capital, holding court at its annual conference in San Francisco, revealed on Oct. 19 new investments totaling more than $60 million in 15 technology startups.
This is a large step up from a year ago, when the global investment arm of Intel Corp. shelled out $38 million for 12 promising startups at its event in San Diego.
The company introduced the CEOs and founders of the startups at the Intel Capital CEO Showcase. This latest group of new portfolio companies brings Intel Capital’s year-to-date investing to more than $566 million.
“The world is undergoing a data explosion,” Wendell Brooks, Intel senior vice president and president of Intel Capital, said at the conference. “By 2020, every autonomous vehicle on the road will create 4 TB of data per day. A million self-driving cars will create the same amount of data every day as 3 billion people.
“As Intel transitions to a data company, Intel Capital is actively investing in startups across the technology spectrum that can help expand the data ecosystem and pathfind important new technologies.”
Brooks said the companies joining Intel Capital’s portfolio are trailblazing technologies that use multiple facets of the data lifecycle–including analyzing, capturing, managing and securing data. These newly funded companies focus on artificial intelligence, 3D medical visualization, robots for retail and cybersecurity inspired by the human immune system, among other technologies.
Brooks also announced that, two years after the launch of the Intel Capital Diversity Initiative, more than 10 percent of Intel Capital’s portfolio companies now are led by women or other groups underrepresented in the technology industry–including three of the companies introduced today.
Here are details on the companies receiving the new investments:
Amenity Analytics (New York) has built a text analytics platform that allows customers to identify actionable signals from unstructured data. Its open data source architecture and cloud-based computing provides unmatched speed, scope and scale. The Amenity Analytics process combines machine learning, sentiment analysis and predictive analytics to produce some of the highest levels of accuracy in the industry.
Bigstream (Mountain View, Calif.) provides hyper-acceleration technology that delivers orders of magnitude performance gains for Apache Spark using hardware and software accelerators. Hyper-acceleration of big data and machine learning workloads is achieved using advanced compiler technology and transparent support for FPGAs. Unlike other approaches, Bigstream requires no application code changes or special APIs.
LeapMind (Tokyo, Japan) makes learning with deep neural networks “small and compact” for easy use in any environment. With the aim to achieve the “Deep Learning of Things” (DoT), LeapMind is improving the accuracy of neural network models and is researching and developing innovative algorithms to reduce the computational complexity of deep learning and original chip architectures for use in small computing environments.
Synthego (Redwood City, Calif.) is a provider of genome engineering solutions. The company's product portfolio includes software and synthetic RNA kits designed for CRISPR genome editing and research. With next-generation informatics and machine learning, Synthego’s vision is to bring precision and automation to genome engineering, enabling rapid and cost-effective research with consistent results for every scientist.
AdHawk Microsystems (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada) says it is revolutionizing human-computer interaction through ultra-precise tracking solutions that are smaller, faster and more power-efficient. AdHawk’s camera-free eye tracking system enables truly mobile data capture and paves the way for a new generation of highly immersive AR/VR experiences.
Trace (Los Angeles) is a sports artificial intelligence company working in the domains of soccer, mountain sports and water sports. Trace users have skied more than 30 billion feet of vertical and surfed more than 10 million waves. Its products combine sensors, video and AI to make performance insights and video highlights available immediately. Recently expanding into team sports, Trace technology is used to provide automatic video highlights and player performance data to coaches, players and parents right after the game.
Bossa Nova Robotics (San Francisco) creates autonomous service robots for the global retail industry. The Bossa Nova technology and services empower retailers to make informed inventory decisions and take rapid action by automating the collection and analysis of on-shelf inventory data in large-scale stores. Retailers can therefore improve their productivity and create a better shopping experience.
EchoPixel (Mountain View, Calif.) develops 3D medical visualization software. Its True 3D system allows medical professionals to interact with organs and tissues in a 3D space emanating from a display, which enables doctors to identify, evaluate and virtually dissect structures. True 3D is being used at UC San Francisco, Stanford, Cleveland Clinic, Lahey Clinic and Hershey Medical Center, among others. EchoPixel technology amplifies human expertise and improves both clinical efficacy and workflow.
Horizon Robotics (Beijing, China) provides integrated and open embedded artificial intelligence solutions of high performance, low power and low cost. The company envisions that the world’s more than 1,000 categories of devices, such as autonomous vehicles and smart cameras, will be equipped with “brains,” becoming intelligent entities that have the ability for perception, understanding and decision-making for safety, convenience and fun.
Reniac (Mountain View, Calif.) solves IO bottlenecks resulting in latency reduction and increased throughput for critical workloads in public cloud, hybrid and on-premise data centers without software changes to existing applications. The company’s Distributed Data Engine is architected to benefit databases, file systems, networking and storage solutions while freeing more CPU resources to creating business value.
TileDB Inc. (Cambridge, Mass.) develops and maintains the TileDB project created at the Intel Science and Technology Center for Big Data, which was a collaboration between Intel Labs and MIT. TileDB is a novel system for managing massive, multidimensional array data that frequently arise from scientific applications.
Alcide (Tel Aviv, Israel) makes a network security platform for any combination of container, VM and bare metal data centers operated by multiple orchestration systems. Alcide secures data centers against cyberattacks, including malicious internal activity and data exfiltration. Alcide, currently in stealth mode, empowers DevOps, security and engineering teams with simplified and autonomous control to manage and secure the evolving data center and hybrid cloud, at any scale.
Eclypsium (Portland, Ore., U.S.) provides technology that helps organizations defend their systems against firmware, hardware and supply chain attacks. The company offers organizations improved visibility for monitoring systems in their infrastructure for firmware threats and supply chain compromise, detection of firmware vulnerabilities, and improved firmware update management in endpoint systems and servers.
Intezer (Tel Aviv, Israel) develops cybersecurity solutions that apply biological immune system concepts to the cyberspace, creating the world’s first “Code Genome Database,” by mapping billions of small fragments of malicious and trusted software. Through its DNA approach to code, Intezer provides enterprises with unparalleled threat detection and accelerated incident response.
Synack (Redwood City, Calif.) provides customers a scalable, continuous, hacker-powered testing platform that uncovers security vulnerabilities that often remain undetected by traditional penetration testers and scanners. Its On-Demand Crowdsourced Security platform–which includes a network of trusted, ethical hackers worldwide–offers practical insights, analytics and actionable data that enables organizations to identify and fix security holes before criminal hackers exploit them.