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Qualcomm is working on 5G hardware for smartphones and other devices. However, the company also wants startups to get involved in this market and to develop new use cases for 5G. To this end, it is now setting up an investment fund.

Through the new Qualcomm Ventures 5G Ecosystem Fund, Qualcomm has invested 200 million dollars (179 million euros) in startups that work on the 5G ecosystem.

The chip manufacturer is interested in 5G because it is expected to have a greater impact than previous generations of mobile network technology. According to the company, 5G should therefore be at the start of “a new era of innovation”.

Investing in innovation

The new Qualcomm Ventures 5G Ecosystem Fund will specifically focus on startups working on new and innovative 5G use cases, transformation in the 5G network and the expansion of 5G to enterprise markets. This means that the technology must be brought further than just the smartphone.

“5G will transform industries and should be viewed as a business strategy for all,” says CEO Steve Mollenkopf of Qualcomm. Specifically, the fund should “fuel innovative 5G businesses” that will benefit from the future 5G market, which, according to Qualcomm, will be worth 13.2 trillion dollars by 2035.

Qualcomm Ventures

Qualcomm regularly invests in emerging technology through special funds. Last year, for example, it started with the Qualcomm Ventures AI Fund, which invests up to $100 million in “startups that transform AI”. The Qualcomm Ventures AI Fund focuses specifically on startups that share the vision that on-device Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming more powerful and widespread.

The company now states that its Ventures fund has invested 350 times since it was founded in 2000. Funding has gone to Zoom, Cloudflare, Xiaomi, Fitbit and Waze, for example.

“This fund will continue to invest in those that share Qualcomm Ventures’ vision to transform yet-to-be seen innovations and technologies into reality by using the power of 5G,” says the chip manufacturer.