1. News
July 12, 2017

Samsung NEXT investment arm turns its focus to European startups

Samsung NEXT, the venture capital arm of the global tech firm, is expanding into Europe and wants to find early stage startups to partner with.

With offices already in Korea, Silicon Valley, New York and Tel Aviv, Samsung NEXT’s Berlin office is its next stage in spreading the Samsung power across the globe.

So far, it has invested in more than 60 companies and made 15 acquisitions including the artificial intelligence (AI) platform Viv and the mobile payment solution LoopPay.

Speaking of AI, the VC arm wants to target startups working on what it called “frontier tech”, which includes machine learning technology, Internet of Things (IoT), augmented reality and virtual reality.

Samsung NEXT’s European managing director, Felix Petersen announced the new fund at the European tech festival Tech Open Air.

He said it wants to focus on startups in these areas because that will “further transform how we’re connecting the world.”

“I’m excited to lead our expansion into Europe. The combination of deep tech talent and cultural diversity makes this market very attractive. It also gives us a great opportunity to become the place for European entrepreneurs looking to build and grow their startups and turn them into revolutionary companies,” said Petersen.

It raised $150m in funding earlier this year which it plans to invest in startups around Europe.

As well as capital, it will provide startups with the resources, expertise and connections to scale-up and grow on a global scale.

Samsung has always been keen on supporting new talent. A few years ago it launched the Creative Lab or C-Lab, an in-house startup business programme to help develop ideas from Samsung employees.

At this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, it exhibited the virtual reality and augmented reality projects its staff had been working on.

The European startup scene in general has been having a good year.

Last week, a new data-focused accelerator programme, named Data Pitch, opened applications for European startups to apply for funding.

The new project, backed by the EU Horizon 2020 initiative, wants to fund data startups that have unique approaches to solving problems facing countries across Europe.

It will provide around 50 startups with funding of up to €100,000 over the next three years, as well as mentoring and investment opportunities.

In addition, ex-Skype cofounder Niklas Zennstrom’s VC fund Atomico launched a new $765m fund to invest and champion European startups around the world back in February.