Sam­sung scouts for star­tups

Irish Independent - Business Week - - BUSINESSWEEK -

SAM­SUNG Elec­tron­ics is open­ing an of­fice in Ber­lin that will serve as a hub for scout­ing start-up in­vest­ments and ac­qui­si­tions in Europe.

Sam­sung NEXT – the South Korean tech gi­ant’s $150m ven­ture cap­i­tal fund – has two in­vestors on the ground in Ber­lin and is scout­ing of­fice space for next year, part of a push to in­vest in and ac­quire fledg­ling com­pa­nies in ar­eas such as con­nected ap­pli­ances, AI and aug­mented re­al­ity, said man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Felix Petersen, an en­tre­pre­neur and ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist who joined Sam­sung in April.

“In Europe it’s very hard for an en­tre­pre­neur to do a $40m, $60m, $80m exit. In the U.S. you can do it as an ac­qui-hire,” Petersen said. “Th­ese smaller, deep-tech ex­its which in Sil­i­con Val­ley are su­per­com­mon be­cause the teams al­ready have the re­la­tion­ships with Google and Face­book are harder here. We want to po­si­tion Sam­sung as an exit chan­nel here for deep tech.”

Sam­sung, which vies with Ap­ple as the world’s top mo­bile phone maker, has pre­vi­ously ac­quired start-ups in­clud­ing LoopPay, which be­came the smart­phone pay­ment ser­vice Sam­sung Pay, and home au­toma­tion startup SmartThings.

Cor­po­rate ven­ture cap­i­tal­ists, which typ­i­cally fund in­vest­ments from their own trea­sury in­stead of seek­ing out­side part­ners, in­vested $83.2bn in start-ups glob­ally last year, up from $76.5bn in 2015, ac­cord­ing to Global Cor­po­rate Ven­tur­ing An­a­lyt­ics. More than a third of deals be­tween $10m and $99m the past three years have been cor­po­rate-backed. SAP’s Sap­phire Ven­tures, Google, and Sales­force. com are also ac­tive in tech­nol­ogy in­vest­ments. (Bloomberg)

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